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28 Jun, 2019 18:23

Special EU channel to allow trade with Iran, circumvent US sanctions is now operational - statement

Special EU channel to allow trade with Iran, circumvent US sanctions is now operational - statement

A special trade channel that will allow European firms to bypass American sanctions on Iran is operational - that was the outcome of the meeting between the countries who signed the nuclear deal ditched by US.

The EU called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a "key element of global nuclear non-proliferation." The deal was in limbo after Washington left it a year ago and started piling up sanctions on Tehran, hampering its trade with other countries.

Now French, British and German officials say the trade mechanism, dubbed Instex, is operational. The mechanism would facilitate transactions between European and Iranian companies, bypassing the need for financial institutions like SWIFT to carry out exchanges. A payment balancing system will allow companies in Europe to buy Iranian goods, and vice-versa, without money-transfers between European and Iranian banks.

Iran has established a counterpart to Instex known as the STFI, which EU officials said will now speed up cooperation with the European trade vehicle.

Also on rt.com Iran says alternative sanctions-busting payment system with EU is operational

The statement comes after the remaining signatures of JCPOA gathered in Vienna for a meeting that Iranian ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called  "the last chance for the remaining parties...to gather and see how they can meet their commitments towards Iran."

Tehran has been skeptical about EU's commitment to the deal and threatened to exceed the maximum amount of enriched uranium allowed it by the deal after US had imposed a series of sanctions on the country.

Participants at the meeting in Vienna also reported progress on other issues, including efforts to modernize Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The signatories to the JCPOA reaffirmed their commitment to supporting those projects, which they said were important to the cause of non-proliferation.