On March 31, 2020, France, Germany, and the U.K. announced that Europe completed its first export of goods to Iran using INSTEX – “special purpose vehicle” – meant to dodge U.S. tariffs in order to send medical supplies (including equipment for laboratory tests, protective body suits, and gloves) to the Islamic Republic.
The Instrument in Support Of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), was set up by France, Germany, and the UK in 2019 to help European companies that want to make business with Iran despite U.S. President Donald TRUMP’s crushing sanctions against the country.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has 44.605 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 2.800 deaths.
The three countries said in a statement that the medical goods traded with INSTEX had already arrived in Iran.
Britain, France, and Germany were among a list of countries that Iran reported receiving medical aid from earlier this month as it battles a serious outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The three European powers are shareholders in the INSTEX that was conceived as a way to help match Iranian oil and gas exports against purchases of EU goods and hope other states will join later.
However, those ambitions have been toned down, with diplomats saying that, it will be used only for smaller trade, for example of humanitarian products or food.
“Now the first transaction is complete, INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism”, said the German officials.
Tehran’s struggle to bring the virus’ spread under control has been made more difficult by US sanctions.
The blockade was re-imposed under President Donald Trump after he withdrew from a 2015 deal in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for easier access to global trade.
The European sanctions-dodging scheme aims to keep the nuclear deal alive, holding Iran back from developing a bomb.
Iran would not accept help from Washington after Trump offered aid at the end of February, Supreme leader Ali Khamenei said last week. He said also that the US proposals to help with medicines and treatments are “strange”, calling US “most ferocious and vicious enemy”.
This story contains reporting from the Pakistan Post, DW, Politico, and Reuters.
Photo’s source: Trend News Agency.