INSTEX offers ‘almost nothing’: lawmaker

TEHRAN, Jul. 23 (MNA) – A member of Iranian parliament says that Europeans should not pin hope on INSTEX as a tool for persuading Iran to stop reducing commitments to nuclear deal because the financial channel offers ‘almost nothing’.

“With the establishment of INSTEX, Europeans should not expect Iran not to implement its announced reduction of commitments to the JCPOA since INSTEX is almost nothing,” MP Ali Akbar Karimi, a member of Iranian Parliament’s Economic Committee, told Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

“INSTEX is not even a food-for-oil program since Europeans will not buy oil from Iran via the channel. INSTEX should not be turned into a larger deception than the JCPOA for Iran,” he added.

After the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from Iran nuclear deal, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May 2018 and re-imposition of tough sanctions against Tehran, other signatories to the deal asked Iran to remain in the deal and promised to safeguard its economic interests.

European partners established a financial mechanism dubbed INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) with a tangible delay. The channel will only cover trade of food and medicine, at least in its initial stages. Tehran says this is not sufficient as it should also facilitate Iran’s oil export which is under US sanctions.

The lawmaker went on to say that INSTEX will only be effective under the four following conditions. “First: providing the ground for buying goods which are under [US] sanctions. Second: European’s buying oil from Iran. Third: not conditioning Iran-Europe banking transaction to [ratification of] FATF [-related bills in Iran]. Fourth: paying for Iran’s oil and goods’ in cash in addition to barter trade.”

“Remaining parties to the JCPOA should put up a protective wall for Iran against US sanctions,” he stressed.

Seeing other parties’ inability or unwillingness to practically support the country in face of US sanctions, Iran announced in May 2019 that it would reduce its commitments to the deal in 60-day steps. Tehran highlights that all these reductions are according to paragraphs 26 and 36 of the deal while also saying that these measures are quickly reversible.

MAH/4653375

News Code 147983

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