Iran on Monday welcomed as a “good omen” the introduction of a financial system aimed at circumventing US economic sanctions, but nevertheless described the move as insufficient. Britain, France and Germany – which, along with Russia and China, are the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal – last week conducted the first transaction through Instex, a mechanism that allows bartering and, potentially, non-dollar direct trade. The European countries used this “clearinghouse” to deliver medical supplies to Iran, which is struggling to contain one of the world’s worst outbreaks of coronavirus. “What the Islamic Republic of Iran expects [now] is for the Europeans to fulfill the rest of their commitments in various fields [such as] banking, energy [and] insurance,” an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on Monday. In May 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear pact and re-imposed crippling sanctions on Tehran. This has put him at odds not only with the Iranian government, but also with global powers that have long considered the accord a means of curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
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