All tagged INSTEX

German Tapped to Head INSTEX Withdraws After Israel Controversy

◢ A German senior diplomat who had been designated to run INSTEX, a mechanism to allow trade with Iran despite US sanctions, will not assume the post, it emerged Friday, following controversial comments he made on Israel. German's foreign office told AFP that Bernd Erbel, 71, had informed it "that he is not available for personal reasons.”

Iran Says Europe 'Obliged' to Let it Sell and Ship Oil

◢ Iran said Wednesday that European nations still party to the 2015 nuclear deal are "obliged" to allow it to sell and ship oil, amid a standoff with Britain over the seizure of tankers. "They (the European parties) have set out their commitments and announced them, they (include) the sale of Iran's oil, the transportation of Iran's oil, and the return of Iran's oil income," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Mnuchin Warns Europe Not to Breach U.S. Sanctions on Iran

◢ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made clear that participating in the U.S. financial system means abiding by its sanctions amid a European effort to sidestep American economic pressure on Iran to continue trade. “We’ve been very clear that we expect U.S. sanctions to be adhered to,” Mnuchin said in response to questions from reporters on Thursday.

EU Holds Iran Nuclear Crisis talks as Tehran Issues Fresh Threats

◢ European foreign ministers held crisis talks Monday on saving the beleaguered Iran nuclear deal as Britain warned the "small window" for success was closing and Tehran issued fresh threats of restarting its atomic program. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt—who held phone talks with his US and Iranian counterparts at the weekend—insisted "the deal isn't dead yet.”

Iran Says European Plan to Bypass US Sanctions Falls Short

◢ The mechanism set up by European powers to help Iran skirt US sanctions will be of limited use but it has highlighted a welcome distance between Washington and its allies, Tehran's top diplomat said Monday. Britain, France and Germany launched the special payment system in late January after US President Donald Trump abruptly quit the nuclear deal last year and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran.

Iran to Abandon More Nuclear Deal Commitments on July 7

◢ Iran will "resolutely" abandon more commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers on July 7, Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday quoting a "note" from a top security official. Tehran had announced on May 8 that it was suspending two of its 2015 pledges and gave Europe, China and Russia a two-month ultimatum to help Iran circumvent US sanctions and sell its oil or it would abandon two more commitments.

Trump Vows New Iran Sanctions, Tehran Warns US Against Attack

◢ US President Donald Trump on Saturday pledged to hit Iran with "major" new sanctions as Tehran warned Washington that any attack would see its interests across the Middle East go up in flames. The war of words heated up after Trump had pulled back from military action against Iran in response to its downing of a US reconnaissance drone.

U.S. Warns Europe That Its Iran Workaround Could Face Sanctions

◢ The Trump administration escalated its battle with European allies over the fate of the Iran nuclear accord. Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, signaled in a May 7 letter obtained by Bloomberg that INSTEX the European vehicle to sustain trade with Tehran, and anyone associated with it could be barred from the U.S. financial system if it goes into effect.

Stuck Between U.S. and Iran, EU Is Running Out of Options

◢ No one spelled out Europe’s predicament over the escalating stand-off between the U.S. and Iran quite as bluntly as Russia. It’s up to “the Europeans, who committed to find a solution to the problem created by the Americans, to fulfill their promise,’’ said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a joint news conference in Moscow with his Iranian opposite, Mohammad Zarif.

Moscow, Iran Urge Europe to 'Fulfil Obligations' Under Nuclear Deal

◢ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday called on European signatories to abide by the Iran nuclear deal, following a meeting in Moscow. Zarif's visit came as Tehran said it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed under the deal until other signatories find a way to bypass renewed US sanctions.

Iran FM Says Europe Incapable of Bypassing US Sanctions

◢ Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Wednesday European powers were incapable of bypassing sanctions imposed on Tehran by the US after it withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Iran and six world powers agreed on a deal in 2015 that severely restricted Tehran's nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief and economic incentives.

Iran Supreme Leader Calls European Trade Mechanism 'Bitter Joke'

◢ Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called a trade mechanism launched by European countries to bypass renewed US sanctions a "bitter joke" on Thursday, in a speech aired by state TV. "This financial channel they recently set up resembles a joke, a bitter joke," Khamenei told a thousands-strong congregation at a shrine in the northeastern city of Mashhad, where he speaks every year to mark Iranian new year.

Iran to Set Up its Part of Nuclear Deal Mechanism 'This Month'

◢ Iran hopes to have its part of a new payments vehicle—devised to bypass US sanctions—ready within a fortnight, its Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Wednesday. "We hope it will be before the end of the Iranian calendar year," Araghchi told reporters in Vienna, referring to March 20 when the Iranian year ends.

Europe Not to be Trusted: Iran Leader

◢ Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday that Europe "cannot be trusted", a week after the EU launched a trade mechanism to bypass US sanctions on Tehran. “These days there's talk of the Europeans and their proposals. My advice is that they shouldn't be trusted, just like the Americans," he said at a meeting with air force officials, his website reported.

Iran Rejects EU Trade, Anti-Money Laundering Link

◢ Iran on Tuesday ruled out linkage between a new EU mechanism to trade with Tehran bypassing US sanctions and an anti-money laundering bill. “Linking implementation of this mechanism... with the requirements of institutions such as the FATF is unacceptable," the foreign ministry said, referring to the international Financial Action Task Force.

Iran Welcomes New EU Trade Entity as First Step': Official

◢ Tehran on Thursday cautiously welcomed as a "first step" the expected launch of an EU trade entity aimed at saving Iran's nuclear deal by bypassing US sanctions. The special payment mechanism "is the first step within the set of commitments the Europeans have made to Iran which I hope will be fully implemented and not be incomplete," said deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, according to state news agency IRNA.

Europe Launches Iran Trade Mechanism

◢ Britain, France and Germany will launch a special payment mechanism Thursday that the EU hopes will help save the Iran nuclear deal by bypassing US sanctions, European sources told AFP. The entity, to be registered in France with German governance and finance from all three countries, will allow Iran to trade with EU companies despite Washington reimposing sanctions after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 accord.