While Tehran was already dissatisfied over the European countries’ delay in launching the special mechanism for trade with Iran, the US administration is reportedly mulling sanctioning the mechanism. The move would cast a new shadow of doubt over the future of the Iran nuclear deal.
کد خبر: ۹۰۴۸۹۴
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۱ خرداد ۱۳۹۸ - ۱۶:۳۹ 11 June 2019

Tabnak – While Tehran was already dissatisfied over the European countries’ delay in launching the special mechanism for trade with Iran, the US administration is reportedly mulling sanctioning the mechanism. The move would cast a new shadow of doubt over the future of the Iran nuclear deal.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Trump administration is now weighing sanctions on Iran’s counterpart to the European special-purpose vehicle for humanitarian trade.

The financial news provider quoted a senior administration official as saying that the latest measures will target the Special Trade and Finance Institute, which Iran set up to correspond to Europe’s INSTEX in bypassing sanctions.

INSTEX is purported as the European fig leaf to Iran to persuade the country to remain in the 2015 nuclear agreement which the United States unilaterally left last year.

The US government is targeting Iran’s Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI) on the ground that the country has not implemented global safeguards against money laundering and terrorism financing, Bloomberg cited the unnamed official as saying. It said punishing STFI could doom INSTEX because it raises the possibility of sanctions risk to anyone who is part of the European mechanism.

The initiative, it said, drives home a letter sent by the US Treasury Department in early May to Per Fischer, the president of INSTEX, arguing that the financial body could face sanctions.

“If they are looking at sanctioning STFI, you’re essentially trying to kill INSTEX through the back door,” said Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

US authorities are reportedly worried that other nations, including America's adversaries, could use INSTEX as a model in the future and avoid the US financial system entirely.

“The development of INSTEX is really worrying for US sanction policy in the long run,” Emma Ashford, a research fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, told Bloomberg. “INSTEX sets up a framework other countries can use in the future.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson has deplored Europe’s lack of action to ensure Tehran’s economic interests under the 2015 nuclear deal and warned there will be a “decisive” reaction if they fail to take any practical measure during a two-month deadline set by the Islamic Republic.

“We have not seen any special practical measure (from Europe) that would fulfill our demand and convince Iran in a tangible manner,” Abbas Mousavi told reporters at a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

He also expressed hope that European governments would take “more tangible and bigger practical measures” to meet a 60-day deadline that Tehran has set for the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to fulfill their undertakings.

For months, European powers have been tinkering with the much-hyped special trade vehicle, raising suspicions in Iran that they might be dragging their feet on operationalizing it in deference to the US government.

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