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European Companies "Won't Dare" Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

•, By Tyler Durden

The launch of INSTEX — "Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges" — by France, Germany, and the UK this weekto allow "legitimate trade" with Iran, or rather effectively sidestep US sanctions and bypass SWIFT after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks last year, may be too little too late to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

Tehran will only immediately press that more than just the current "limited humanitarian" and medical goods can be purchased on the system, in accordance with fulfilling the EU's end of the 2015 JCPOA — something which EU officials have promised while saying INSTEX will be "expansive" — while European companies will likely continue to stay away for fear of retribution from Washington, which has stated it's "closely following" reports of the payment vehicle while reiterating attempts to sidestep sanctions will "risk severe consequences".

As a couple of prominent Iranian academics told Al Jazeera this week: "If [the mechanism] will permanently be restricted to solely humanitarian trade, it will be apparent that Europe will have failed to live up to its end of the bargain for Iran," said political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani. And another, Foad Izadi, professor at the University of Tehran, echoed what is a common sentiment among Iran's leaders: "I don't think the EU is either willing or able to stand up to Trump's threat," and continued, "The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

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