- Russian-Iranian Business Council Notes Hope for INSTEX in Facilitating Trade With Iran
Russian-Iranian Business Council Notes Hope For INSTEX In Facilitating Trade With Iran
Chairman of the Russian-Iranian Business Council Vladimir Obydenov told Sputnik that there was hope that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), a special mechanism set up by the European Union to bypass US sanctions and trade with Iran, would help to alleviate concerns of Russian businesses willing to cooperate with Iran
In November, the SWIFT banking network announced it had suspended several Iranian banks from its service in light of Washington's move to reimpose nuclear sanctions on Tehran. According to Obydenov, Russian companies were concerned about difficulties that they may face in banking area when cooperating with Iran.
"There is some hope [for INSTEX mechanism]," Obydenov said on the sidelines of the Iran-Russia Technology Business Forum in Moscow, when asked if the EU mechanism could help to ease concerns of Russian businesses.
At the same time, he noted that two banks, the Mir Business Bank and the Russian Financial Corporation bank, were "perfectly" performing transactions between Russia and Iran despite being under the US sanctions.
In May 2018, the United States withdrew from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and imposed several consecutive rounds of economic sanctions on Tehran. These measures target Iran's financial and banking sectors, oil and metal industries, trade, and weapons development, in addition to imposing travel bans and asset freezes. The most recent round was applied to the petrochemical industry on June 7 over Tehran's financial support for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.
In January, France, Germany and the United Kingdom set up INSTEX in order to ease non-dollar trade with Tehran in the wake of the US sanctions. Following a meeting of the Joint Commission of the Iranian nuclear deal in June, the mechanism became operational and available to all EU member states.