Six European countries join US sanctions-busting barter system for Iran oil trade

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 02, 2019, 09.27 AM(IST)

File photo: Iran has been facing sanctions since the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Paris-based Instex functions as a clearinghouse allowing Iran to continue to sell oil and other products in exchange of goods.

Defying US Sanctions, six European nations became the new entrants to a barter system which is designed to circumvent US sanctions against trade with Iran. This as Washington slams the move.

The instrument in support of trade exchanges or Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) has been founded by UK, France and Germany. 

In a joint statement, the three countries said that they warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to join Instex as shareholders. 

The Paris-based Instex functions as a clearinghouse allowing Iran to continue to sell oil and other products in exchange of goods.

The system is not in violation of US Sanctions as it does not involve financial transactions.

The Eurozone has been trying to save the Iran nuclear deal after Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the international agreement in 2018.

Meanwhile, Paris, London and Berlin have urged Iran to return to full compliance with its commitments under the deal without delay.

Tehran has been increasingly breaching the deal by increasing its uranium enrichment.

Remember, the 2015 deal was signed between US, European Union, Russia, China and Iran. 

Tehran had agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return of lifting of international economic sanctions.

The US However reinstated sanctions against Iran citing its non-compliance to the deal.

The US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell slammed the six nations for joining the Instex saying that they were funding the Iranian regime at a time of violent anti-government protests.