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UK, Germany and France use INSTEX to circumvent US sanctions on Iran

Abbas Araghchi (R), political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, and the Secretary General of the European Union's External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid take part in a meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) attended by the E3+2 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) and Iran at Palais Coburg in Vienna, Austria on March 6, 2019. (AFP photo)

Bianca Rahimi
Press TV, London

The UK, Germany and France have circumvented US-led sanctions imposed on Iran to send it medical equipment. The trio used a special purpose vehicle called INSTEX to achieve this. The Islamic Republic has so far reported over 44,000 COVID-19 cases with nearly 3000 deaths.

In May 2018 US president Donald Trump unceremoniously withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal known as the JCPOA, and reinstated old and new sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Since then the other signatories to the nuclear deal say they have been trying to salvage it but although INSTEX, the special purpose vehicle set up to do so was supposed to be a major breakthrough, it has only just been used for the first time since it was set up in January 2019.

"France, Germany and the United Kingdom confirm that INSTEX has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran. These goods are now in Iran."

On Tuesday, Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour reported 3,111 new infections and 141 more deaths from the virus over the past 24 hours. In total, 44,606 Iranian have contracted the disease and 2,898 have died, he pointed out, saying 14,656 patients have recovered so far.

Nine US legislators have signed a letter urging Trump to suspend the sanctions in the wake of the pandemic. The campaign has not swayed Trump's resolve when it comes to crippling Iran though.

The European Union’s image as an independent entity that can stand up to the US when it needs to, has been called into question since the JCPOA was derailed.  Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei  says the UK, France and Germany are pawns in this game and are at Washington’s beck and call, so the EU is going to have to work very hard to build trust with Iran.

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