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6 European nations join Iran barter system

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INSTEX circumvents U.S. sanctions against Tehran by avoiding the use of dollar

Paris, London and Berlin on Saturday welcomed six new European countries to the INSTEX barter mechanism, which is designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding use of the dollar.

“As founding shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), France, Germany and the U.K. warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, to join INSTEX as shareholders,” the three said in a joint statement.

The Paris-based INSTEX functions as a clearing house allowing Iran to continue to sell oil and import other products or services in exchange.

The system has not yet enabled any transactions.

Washington in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the international agreement governing Iran's nuclear programme and reinstated heavy sanctions against Tehran.

The accession of the six new members “further strengthens INSTEX and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran”, France, Germany and Britain said.

It represents “a clear expression of our continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” — the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal — the trio added.

They insisted Iran must return to full compliance with its commitments under the deal “without delay”.

“We remain fully committed to pursuing our efforts towards a diplomatic resolution within the framework of the JCPoA.”

The 2015 deal set out the terms under which Iran would restrict its nuclear programme to civilian use in exchange for the lifting of Western sanctions.

Since the U.S. pullout, Iran has taken four steps back from the accord.

Israel slams move

Israel on Sunday criticised six new European members of the INSTEX barter mechanism with Iran, saying it encouraged Tehran's repression of protests.

“Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden could not have picked worse timing,” said an English-language statement from the Israeli foreign ministry.

“The hundreds of innocent Iranians murdered during the latest round of protests are rolling in their graves.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 4:35:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/6-european-nations-join-iran-barter-system/article30131764.ece

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