After the Donald Trump administration’s exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Europeans took various political figures aimed at safeguarding the JCPOA. Launching the INSTEX was one of them.
But their inaction about their JCPOA commitments extended to include INSTEX as well, and worse than that, now they are looking for “culprits” behind making it useless.
Britain, France and Germany in continuation of their claims on remaining committed to the JCPOA, in January of 2018 officially announced that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) has been launched.
A while later, last March when the first financial transaction in the framework of INSTEX took place, a high ranking Iranian diplomat in Europe expressed suspicion about its future, arguing that Tehran is not optimistic about the benefits of INSTEX and is therefore not pursuing the matter seriously.
He added that the Europeans in their talks with Iranian officials focus on INSTEX and report about the progress achieved in implementing it.
INSTEX, as its name suggests, is a financial instrument for business transactions that was launched in January 2018, by Britain, France, and Germany nine months after America’s unilateral exit from THE JCPOA, in which it was supposed to eliminate the US dollar from the conducted deals.
The spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry at the time, Bahram Qasemi clearly criticized the delays by the founding members of INSTEX at that time, reiterating, “It is necessary that the EU troika will make sure that this move will make up for a part of the losses inflicted due to the US exit from the JCPOA and sanctions.
He added that Iran is ready for constructive interactions with Europe and the JCPOA remaining members based on reciprocal interests and respect, but keeping in mind that the ISTEX is implemented in a limited, incomplete, and much-delayed way, the EU in the communique issued after the US exit from the JCPOA, must ensure Tehran of accelerating the implementing of its commitments aimed at benefitting the Iranian nation from THE JCPOA.
Meanwhile, the British government’s special envoy on Iran trade, Norman Lamont, said that the occurred delays in implementing the INSTEX are due to serious US objections against it.
He, all the same, expressed hope that this means will in the future make up for a part of the Europeans’ commitments, make up for the US sanctions, and facilitate for paying Iran’s sold oil money to Tehran.
With the passage of more time, the deficiencies of INSTEX were made more and more evident, and it was also known that the European companies were fearing the Trump administration’s sanctions and were therefore not willing to use the INSTEX.
The European countries, too, only voiced opposition against the US sanctions, but in practice yielded to them.
The British business attaché at the time told IRNA in July 2018, “We encourage the British companies so long as they will recognize trade opportunities in Iran and those who have offices in Iran, too, should continue their activities so long as they will not endanger their interests in the United States.
A high-ranking European diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity, too, said that the INSTEX has been implemented, but the companies must work with it.
“We cannot urge them to work with Iran. The companies that are working with America are not willing to work with Iran. He further explained.
“They fear lest the US will sanction them and do not want to be the first firm that uses the INSTEX.”
The INSTEX was thus just a political figure made by the European countries in the name of remaining committed to THE JCPOA, but the two of them have practically been of no use for Iran and the Iranian nation.