Iran private sector urges Europe to implement INSTEX

Iran Chamber of Commerce, the umbrella group of all Iranian private sector, says the three European countries - Germany, France, UK - need to speed up the process of their special financial channel with Iran in the wake of US sanctions.

15 April 2019
ID : 21925
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Iran Chamber of Commerce, the umbrella group of all Iranian private sector, says the three European countries - Germany, France, UK - need to speed up the process of their special financial channel with Iran in the wake of US sanctions.

Gholam Hossein Shafei, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) President addresses foreign envoys to Iran in Nowruz meeting in Tehran. (Credit: Iran Chamber Newsroom)

The Iranian private sector is waiting on the Europe to live up to its commitments, Iran Chamber of Commerce president said as the European payment channel with Iran, INSTEX, has not been implemented yet.

“We as the private sector still expect the European Union and European states to live up to their commitments in the framework of the JCPOA,” Gholam Hossein Shafei, President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) told the foreign envoys to Iran on Sunday.

“The European mechanism or the SPV was announced more than a year ago, but, unfortunately until to this date this process hasn’t been implemented,” Shafei added during the annual Nowruz (Persian New Year) meeting with ambassadors to Tehran.

The EU announced it would created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) last year when Donald Trump administration withdrew the US from the 2015 international treaty on Iran nuclear program, also known as the JCPOA.

The mechanism, meant to facilitate trade with Iran in the wake of US economic sanctions, wasn’t created until late last January when Germany, France and the UK announced the creation of INSTEX.

Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) was created on 31 January as a payment channel that engages in trade of non-sanctioned goods with Iran. Its structure has been devised and its key figures designated including former German banker Per Fischer who travelled to Iran last March. The SPV is not functional yet.

Soon after Per Fishcer’s visit, Central Bank of Iran declared that a similar company has been set up in Tehran to accelerate the work. On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticised the EU’s “excuse” for not putting in place the financial channel.

Shafei, who is also considered speaker of the Iranian private sector parliament, called on the international community to stop imposing sanctions on his country. “The Iranian private sector’s message to the international community is to spread trade rather than sanctions, to promote friendship instead of enmity and to push for peace against war,” he stressed.

The US unilaterally walked out of the 2015 Iran deal and restored economic sanctions on Tehran in August and November, targeting key oil and banking sectors although Tehran has stuck up to the agreement, according to 10 IAEI reports.

“Iran hasn’t taken any action against the international peace and security or the human rights to deserve such unilateral sanctions,” the ICCIMA president noted, saying the nuclear deal is a “clear sign” of Tehran’s good will and respect for international norms.

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