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European Union takes further steps towards bypassing US sanctions against Iran

globinfo freexchange

In the beginning of the year, France, Germany and the United Kingdom announced the creation of INSTEX (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges), a special program aimed to bypass US sanctions against Iran.

It appears that the move alarmed the US empire apparatus, which, as a first reaction, attempted to downgrade its significance. Indeed, about a month ago, the Atlantic Council (a top US think tank), reported:

          By not appointing senior officials from E3 [Britain, France, Germany] finance ministries or central banks to lead INSTEX, these countries are intentionally or unintentionally conveying a message to the Iranian government, as well as to EU and Iranian companies and banks: the E3 consider establishing INSTEX as a political move rather than an effort to create a viable trade mechanism. If interpreted that way, Iran will consider this as a maneuver by the E3 to shy away from its commitments under the JCPOA due to US pressure.

However, this could be proved only wishful thinking by the US side since it appears that there is significant progress around INSTEX mechanism.

As the PressTV reported:

Britain, France, and Germany announced the establishment of the system, officially called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), in January. The apparatus is expected to circumvent the sanctions that the United States began re-imposing against Iran after leaving a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, the trio, and Russia and China.

As many as seven more EU members have also committed to use the apparatus for business purposes with the Islamic Republic. But on Thursday, Helga Schmid, secretary general of the European Union's External Action Service (EEAS), said beyond the 10-strong European states, “more, also non-EU member states, will join" the trade instrument.

The system came into force after Iran complained why the European countries did not keep up their trade with the country as the nuclear deal mandates them to, and instead bow under the US sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.

These developments show that the EU seeks to internationally isolate further the US on the matter.

For the moment, it seems that there is indeed a problem of mutual trust between Iran and Europe. Europeans expect Iran to fulfill commitments concerning JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). And Iran needs more guarantees that Europe will stick to the trade deal. Yet, these are signs that both sides are willing to find ways to bypass US sanctions.

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