Iran Rejects New EU Trade Mechanism
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Britain, France and Germany (the E 3) announced a new mechanism for facilitating allegedly sanctions-free trade with Iran – a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called an Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).
Discussed in an earlier article, I explained what's key is pressure by the Trump regime on foreign enterprises, threatening to deny them access to the US market if violate (illegally) imposed sanctions - no matter what their governments do to facilitate trade with Iran.
Following the INSTEX announcement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi urged Brussels to fulfill its obligations quickly.
Since Trump withdrew from the JCPOA last May, little was done to challenge the move, the EU failing to fulfill its pledge.
INSTEX is supposed to act as a bartering arrangement between EU member states and Iran, bypassing dollar transactions with strings the Islamic Republic rejects.
Its Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani slammed the proposal, calling it humiliating, stressing that "(a)fter nine months of dawdling and negotiations, European countries have come up with a limited-capacity mechanism not for exchange of money with Iran, but to supply food and medicine."
Like most all countries, Iran wants monetary payments for its oil and other products, the bartering arrangement as proposed unacceptable, Larijani adding:
"European countries, which had promised to remain committed to Iran's nuclear deal after the US withdrawal from it, have now restricted their efforts to INSTEX and have reportedly set two strange conditions for it to become effective."
The EU demands Iran join a so-called Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and curb its legitimate ballistic and other missile development program.
Iran's Expediency Council (EC) Secretary Mohsen Rezaie slammed the INSTEX proposal as "blackmail," accusing Brussels of breaching its JCPOA commitments.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected linking INSTEX to FATF. National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran's parliament spokesman Ali Najafi said "we do not accept this precondition."
Iran is a sovereign state, the region's leading supporter of peace and stability. Saving the nuclear deal depends on treating its government fairly and equitably, observing JCPOA provisions to the letter - not waffling, further delaying, and proposing what no ruling authorities would accept in deference to the US instead of denouncing its pullout and going its own way.
Actions by the EU for nine months show it wants Iranian surrender to unacceptable terms, breaching the JCPOA like the Trump regime, short of pulling out officially.
Pretending otherwise doesn't cut it. As things now stand, the JCPOA is on life support, breathing hard, close to demise, heading there if what's gone on so far is Brussels' best offer - amounting to none at all.
Since creation of the EU by the CIA post-WW II, its member states have been virtual US colonies, their sovereign independence abandoned, taking orders from Washington, saluting and obeying.
They've gone along with illegal US sanctions on Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and other countries, flagrant breaches of international law.
Their promises to continue normal relations with Iran, including purchases of its oil and related promises, appear more unfulfilled lofty rhetoric than firm policy.
SWIFT disconnected Iranian banks from its international financial transactions system, bowing to Washington's will.
Brussels' pledge to create a special purpose (financial transactions) vehicle (SPV) for European companies to circumvent SWIFT in dealings with Iran to bypass US financial sanctions failed to get support from any EU member state, killing the initiative.
INSTEX and FAFT are unacceptable alternatives, rejected by Iran, an insult to its sovereignty, leadership, and people.
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