EU must take practical steps to salvage JCPOA

TEHRAN, Jul. 31 (MNA) – Former German Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran and new head of EU’s Trade Mechanism with Iran dubbed “INSTEX” Bernd Erbel said that European Union (EU) must take practical measures to save Iran’s nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He made the remarks on Wed. in an exclusive interview with KenFM, an independent German internet journalism portal, and expounded his viewpoints on Iran and ways of Europe’s cooperation and interaction to settling tensions in the region.

Unlike Israel, Islamic Republic of Iran is a member of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), he said, adding, “Israel is opposed to nuclear deal while it [Israel] itself is a nuclear power but Islamic Republic of Iran has never been a nuclear power. However, Iran still a member of NPT.”

Turning to Iran’s undisputed power in the international arena, Erbel said, “Germany has always established amicable and friendly relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, so that promoting bilateral ties between Iran and Germany is a solid evidence of the said claim.”

Bernd Erbel, 72, a German diplomat and a former head of his country’s mission in Iran (Oct. 2009-2013) has been appointed as the new president of Iran-EU trade mechanism, known officially as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX). He succeeded his compatriot, Per Fischer, a former Commerzbank director who presided over the mechanism since its inception in January. Erbel is to officially take office today (August 1). 

Backed by 10 EU states, INSTEX was launched in January but only became operational last month. The mechanism is designed to facilitate payments to Iran and bypass US trade sanctions reimposed on the country after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in the summer of last year. 

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