Designated German head of INSTEX forced to resign

TEHRAN, Aug. 09 (MNA) – Former German diplomat Bernd Erbel who was set to take over as the new chief of INSTEX was forced to resign after he criticized Israeli regime and defended Iran missile program.

According to the German daily Bild, Erbel had defended Iran’s missile program as legal in a YouTube interview while also criticizing policies of the Israeli regime. He said that the Israeli regime was “more than ever an alien body” in the Middle East.

German Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that Erbel would not take on the role, saying, “Mr Erbel has informed the foreign ministry that he will not be available for personal reasons.”

INTESX was launched in January 2019 by European signatories of the JCPOA – Germany, UK, and France – as a financial mechanism to maintain trades with Iran amid re-imposing of US unilateral sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal.

Europeans say that the mechanism began to process its first transaction in June after months of delay. INSTEX is said to initially cover food and medicine. Iran says this is not sufficient and the channel should also cover oil trades and banking relations.

Tehran has announced that it is reducing commitments to JCPOA in 60-day stages if other parties to the deal fail to secure Iran’s economic interests.

Mojtaba Zonnour, Chairman of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said on Thursday that INSTEX is like a “bucket with no water” whose output would be of no use to Iran, adding “the EU’s mechanism is said to only cover food and medicine, while INSTEX is supposed to facilitate Iran’s economic ties with all countries in the world.”

Noting the US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA, he said “Europe and the US are cut from the same cloth, and are only playing the good cop/bad cop game with us. Europe is only buying time for the US and has done nothing to preserve the nuclear deal.”

MAH/PR

News Code 148651

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