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France, Germany, Britain launch mechanism for trade with Iran

Germany, France and Britain have set up a European mechanism for non-dollar trade with Iran to avoid US sanctions. Washington’s major European allies opposed last year’s decision by President Donald Trump to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal, under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted. The new European trade vehicle was conceived as a way to help match Iranian oil and gas exports against purchases of EU goods. The Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges, or INSTEX, is registered in France and will be headed by German banker Per Fischer, a former Commerzbank director. The three European powers are shareholders and hope other states will join later. However, diplomats say the mechanism could realistically be used only for smaller trade permitted by the Trump administration, including for humanitarian products or food.