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Europe Launches SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

In a move sure to unleash fury from the Trump administration, the European Union has announced it has set up a transactions channel with Iran to bypass US sanctions. The launch of INSTEX — or “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges” — by France, Germany, and the UK will allow non-dollar trade with Iran and is being described as facilitating humanitarian goods-related transactions only, including food, medicine and medical equipment.

Long anticipated, Thursday’s EU announcement marks the most concrete action Europe has taken to thwart Washington sanctions after the US pullout of the 2015 nuclear deal last May, and after SWIFT caved to US pressure. Europe is hoping the mechanism will act as a legal means to preventing Tehran from quitting the JCPOA, which promised sanctions relief should the country halt nuclear weapons research and development. INSTEX is expected to receive the formal endorsement of all 28 EU members, which aims to encourage skittish pharmaceutical and agricultural companies to the table with Tehran after many stopped doing business in Iran for fear of US economic retribution.

Europe Launches SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

The Iranians welcomed the new mechanism: “It is a first step taken by the European side… We hope it will cover all goods and items,” Iranian Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi told state TV, referencing EU promises to stick to its end of the nuclear deal.

INSTEX will reportedly be based in Paris and run by a supervisory board chaired by the UK and managed by a German banking expert, and has further been described in European media as “expandable,” which is likely to provoke a reaction from the United States, especially after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas cited EU strategic and “security interests” during a press briefing in Brussels: “We have been looking for ways to obtain this agreement because we are firmly convinced that it serves our strategic security interests in Europe.” He further bluntly described, “We do not want Iran to get out of this agreement and back into uranium enrichment. This has to do with our security interests in Europe.”

Technically US sanctions allow some limited humanitarian trade and limited goods; however the White House’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran has still scared away European giants like Seimens, Maersk, Total, Daimler, Peugeot, Renault, and others.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo previously warned of “swift punishment” for countries doing business with Iran, thus INSTEX is seen as a first small step toward greater European economic independence, and toward calming Iranian criticisms centered on seeing “dollar domination” as fueling European weakness to follow through on JCPOA stipulations.

But is the new financial exchange mechanism too little too late? One prominent Iranian academic and political analyst, Mohammad Ali Shabani, told Al Jazeera: “If [the mechanism] will permanently be restricted to solely humanitarian trade, it will be apparent that Europe will have failed to live up to its end of the bargain for Iran,” told Al Jazeera. And another, Foad Izadi, professor at the University of Tehran, echoed what is a common sentiment among Iran’s leaders: “I don’t think the EU is either willing or able to stand up to Trump’s threat,” and continued, “The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it’s not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise… People are running out of patience.”

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  • Jesus

    Iran should focus their business with SCO countries and allow Western Europe to dawdle though the SPV process, the emphasis of Iran’s economic security should rest on the SCO.

  • RichardD

    There needs to be a financial alternative to JewSD financial mechanisms capable of handling global volume. And if the JewS wants to sanction itself into isolation for the Jews. It will add motivation for the dejudification of the US.

    • LR captain

      china kind of really is our best bet for that. they were conducting trade and commerce as far back as 8000 BC long before the Zionists even existed the Term Jewish was not even used until the Hebrew settled in Egypt.

  • vladput

    To defeat Iran is enough send 10 million dogs. Today forbad in Iran walking with dogs and their transport in cars. Reason? the farsi guys have fear from dogs. :DDDD

  • RUteo

    United Bandits Of America

  • MichaH

    A system only to trade humanitarian goods, based in Paris, following the rules of the eu-leaving British with a stupid Socialist from Germany praising it. That sounds like a good and fair deal…

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Angry members of Trump Administration=end of days, rapture lunatics.

  • Sinbad2

    Just typical European BS, they like to pretend they aren’t owned by the USA, but everybody knows the truth.
    Iran should start making nukes, it’s the only thing that works against the evil empire.

  • MichaH

    The german foreign policy is really a joke. In Germany exists a saying, a winged word, *Jubelperser*, it translates to *chearing persians*.
    Back in the sixties, the shah visited germany, brought his chearing crowd from the secret police with him.
    These jubelperser started beating up student protesters, committing these assaults together with the german police. One student shot dead by a german police officer. German politicians are nothing more than Jubelperser…

    • Elisabeth Jenders

      What do you expect with Heiko Maaslos (Masslos = immoderat, self-indulgent) as Merkel’s foreign minister? As minister for justice before, he worked for more censorship, contrary to our basic law – now, he is just an embarrassment for Germany!

      • Pave Way IV

        Say, Germany wouldn’t be interested in trading your politicians with ours here in the U.S., would you? In fact, I’ll toss in two and a half U.S. politicians for every German one, and an additional bonus politician if the German ones traded don’t speak English. What do you say? Please… I’m begging you here.

        • Elisabeth Jenders

          Heiko and Angie and Ursula and Nahles and Barley for Tulsi Gabbard and Cynthia McKenna – anytime!
          Tulsi for POTUS in 2020!

  • S Melanson

    I would interpret the restrictions to humanitarian trade as a way to mitigate US anger and since humanitarian is allowed then hard to challenge new system. This is potentially a big deal as the system can become an alternative to SWIFT. The US gets this I am sure. I would also consider globalists will want to make it a replacement in time and as an alternative only temporary until US power is broken. This tells me globalists either cannot get rid of trump or they never really did and it is all distraction from the real plan. Either way it is quite a good show.

    Iran should still work with brics to develop alternate system. Three systems make for a safer world

  • Robert McMaster

    More, more, more. Between states, businesses, institutions. In every way, on every level build alternatives to the use of the dollar. Soon, there will be momentum. New systems of exchange will be stablished, the bugs worked out and the mechanisms put into play. US nuts meets vice. Squeeze hard.

  • PZIVJ

    This is a good first step with INSTEX. I noticed Daimler, Peugeot, Renault are mentioned, they have subsidiary branches involved in these areas?

  • goingbrokes

    European companies, and consequently the people, always pay the price for sanctions imposed by US officials. With a friend like that you don’t need enemies…

    • Tudor Miron

      Vassal states (EU) have no say in global politics.

      • goingbrokes

        Indeed, that is the case. But only because they have noodle-spined and pea-brained morons at the helm.

        • Tudor Miron

          Vassal states are allowed to have only this kind of local colonial administration – “noodle-spined and pea-brained morons”(c) willing to sale their own people in exchange for privileges given by occupying force.

  • Xoli Xoli

    USA $ are going to become shithall paper.

    • Sinbad2

      I hope so, but this won’t cause it, this is just to give the appearance of the EU supporting the JCPOA, whilst actually breaking the deal, duplicity at its best.

      For US dollar collapse news, check out who is buying gold, and who is trying to stop countries buying gold?
      Also who is buying and selling US treasury bonds?
      The Game is afoot.