The EU special payment mechanism to bypass sanctions about to be launched soon, German government spokesman confirms
Iran is close to reaching an oil sales deal with the European Union, in direct violation of the U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported. The EU and Iran were “on the brink” of an oil agreement, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif confirmed Tuesday.
The news comes days after Britain and the EU came out openly against the Trump administration’s recent decision to restrict further waivers on oil imports from Tehran. Last week, European countries renewed their pledge to keep the Obama-era nuclear deal with the Islamic regime afloat despite the U.S. withdrawal exactly a year ago on May 8, 2018.
The EU along with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany issued a joint statement expressing “concern” over the U.S. move “not to fully renew waivers for nuclear nonproliferation projects in the framework (or the 2015 Iran Deal).”
Reuters reported the impeding EU-Iran oil deal:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Russian news agency RIA on Tuesday that Iran was close to an oil sales deal with the European Union, despite the sanctions which have been re-imposed by the United States.
“Iran and the EU are on the brink of agreement, which, despite the return of unilateral American sanctions, will make Iranian oil sales possible,” he was quoted as saying.
The Iranian announcement coincides with the German government’s admission that the European payment mechanism designed to circumvent U.S. sanction was nearing completion. “Currently, the last steps need to be taken for this corporation to be able to operate – that includes Iran making the necessary preparations on its side,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal spokesman disclosed at a regular news conference Wednesday.
The EU-backed payment system called Instex, will act as a barter system offsetting Tehran’s oil exports against imports from European states. The mechanism will eliminate the incriminating money trail and shield sanction-busting European companies from prosecution under the U.S. law.
The U.S. sees Instex as a tool for money laundering and financing terrorism — especially in light of the role played by regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated terrorist group, in key sectors of the Iranian economy. “I question how that’s even remotely possible … with a country like Iran where the IRGC is so endemic within the economy but also hidden in many different respects,” U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said Tuesday.
If the announced EU-Iran deal is realized, it may end up funneling millions of euros into IRGC-run security apparatus that suppresses domestic opposition and finances foreign terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
The sanctions imposed by the White House have battered the Iranian state-controlled economy. The currency has lost more than two-thirds of its value since the sanctions were slapped back last year. This has led to wide-spread anti-regime protests, including in the capital city of Tehran, only to be brutally suppressed by the security forces loyal to the Islamist regime. A possible oil deal with the Europeans will only embolden the regime to quell dissent at home and seek military adventure abroad.
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