SPV launch first step for EU to fulfill its commitments under nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Jan. 31 (MNA) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi expressed hope the EU-Iran payment vehicle INSTEX is completed fully and is not deficient, saying "SPV launch is the first step for EU to fulfill its commitments under nuclear deal."

"Iran's all imports and exports will be put into this financial mechanism," Araghchi, who is now in Bulgaria, told IRIB Channel 1 on Thursday.

Iran is also planned to establish a similar mechanism for this purpose in order to implement transactions in rial for Iranian sides, he added.

Araghchi underlined that the special purpose vehicle INSTEX creates a system for companies wishing to do business with Iran to make financial transactions through this mechanism.

He also stressed that this mechanism will provide us with full benefit if it is available to non-European countries or companies, as well, which is scheduled to be operated in the next phase, and in this case our international purchase system can be monitored under this mechanism.

As we know, he said, the Europeans have designed this mechanism in such a way that companies wishing to do business with Iran are not subject to US sanctions, while the United States' pressures remains.

"The United States has warned them previously of operating such a mechanism, but we hope the Europeans have considered all the details regarding how to deal with US sanctions," Araghchi noted.

"Americans have threatened to confront this mechanism, that's why it took long for Europeans to launch this mechanism, since they were trying to find solutions to prevent US sanctions from being operational," Araghchi reiterated.

Regarding some speculations that this mechanism is designed only to sell food, medicine and medical devices in Iran, it may be initially for this purpose, however, it will be expanded for sanctioned goods in the future, Araghchi said, adding special purpose vehicle INSTEX is basically for sanctioned goods.

In our view, Araghchi added, this is the first step for the European Union to fulfill its commitments under a nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers, and which were formulated in a statement issued in May 2017 between the foreign ministers of Iran and the three European countries (Germany, UK and France); "this is the first step that is taken by Europeans to open up a banking channel with Iran."

He expressed hope that this financial channel would be fully implemented covering all kinds of goods.

"The main purpose of this mechanism is to support companies that want to do business with Iran," said the deputy foreign minister, adding "how willing they are to get engaged in business depends on the mechanism being properly designed." 

Araghchi said the the plan and details will be announced today, after EU foreign ministers meet in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, in an informal gathering.

The channel, set up by Germany, France and the UK (E3), is called INSTEX — short for "Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges."

According to media reports, INSTEX will be based in Paris and be managed by German banking expert Per Fischer, a former manager at Commerzbank. The UK will head the supervisory board, Deutsche Welle reported.

The Trump administration has repeatedly warned the European Union against trying to sidestep sanctions on Iran. Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions last year. Along with fellow signatories Russia and China, the EU maintains that Iran has not broken its side of the deal and should be allowed to trade.

Iranian officials has expressed frustration and skeptism over the slow European response to the re-imposition of US sanctions, but has pledged to maintain its nuclear deal commitments so long as it receives the promised economic benefits.

LR/IRN83191448

News Code 142070

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