MAJOR: EU Defies US Sanctions – Sends Medical Supplies to Iran

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LONDON/BRUSSELS – The United Kingdom, Germany and France sent a consignment of medical supplies to Iran, one of the most affected countries in the world, against the backdrop of the global pandemic of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19). The European troika, which retains its participation in the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA, Iran’s nuclear program agreement of 2015) after the United States withdraws from it, first used the trade mechanism (INSTEX), created to circumvent US sanctions against Tehran.

European countries delivered medicine to Iran as part of the first INSTEX transaction designed to circumvent US sanctions against Tehran, the German Foreign Ministry said today, March 31.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany does not specify what kind of medical supplies and equipment are involved and what companies were involved in the shipment. The German Foreign Ministry says that now that the trade mechanism has been successfully tested, the parties will work to further improve it.

The actions of the US allies in Europe are expected to soon receive a critical response from Washington, which earlier this month warned that there could be no talk of any relaxation of sanctions against Iran in connection with the pandemic .

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The first successful deal within the framework took place more than a year after London, Berlin and Paris announced the creation of INSTEX, Al-Jazeera TV channel notes.

Recall that the three leading economies of Europe – signatories of the JCPOA refused to follow the example of an overseas ally and break the nuclear deal with Tehran. However, the question arose of eliminating the threat of the so-called secondary US sanctions against those European companies that are ready to continue mutually beneficial cooperation with Iranian commercial partners. The response from the UK, Germany and France was the INSTEX (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges) trading mechanism, officially launched on January 31, 2019.

INSTEX is a structure headquartered in Paris. It was headed by a former Commerzbank senior manager, a German citizen, Per Fisher . The chairman of the supervisory board of INSTEX, consisting of representatives of each of the three countries, became a Briton. Such “diversification” of functions within the instrument, as conceived by its creators, is designed to minimize the risks of US sanctions pressure.

Initially, it was assumed that Iran could continue to supply oil and other goods to Europe. The created agency will send money for them not to Iranian banks, but to European companies that sell industrial goods, medicines and food to Iran. Settlements will be made in euros. Meanwhile, until recently, over the past 14 months since the European troika announced the launch of INSTEX, no real steps have been taken to protect trade and economic relations between the EU and Iran from US sanctions.

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