Updated in: 18 September 2019 - 16:22
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TEHRAN (defapress)- Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati told Austrian Ambassador to Tehran Stephen Scholz that Iran will no more accept the Europeans’ excuses for not putting into practice the Iran-Europe financial mechanism, known as the INSTEX.
News ID: 77409
Publish Date: 15May 2019 - 22:00

Iran to Turn Deaf Ear to Europe’s Excuses for Delayed ActionIran will no longer believe Europeans’ excuses for not having the mechanism operational, Hemmati told Scholz in a meeting in Tehran.

Hailing Austrian government's cooperation on expansion of mutual banking ties, Abdolnasser Hemmati called for further banking and trade ties.

The Austrian Ambassador, for his part, underlined his government’s support for INSTEX.

He also asked the central bank governor to make affiliated order for lubricating forex issues between Lufthansa Airline, the largest airline in Europe, and Austrian Airlines with Iran.

Hemmati also promised cooperation in this regard.

In an Instagram post in Persian on Monday, Hemmati lashed out at European supporters of the INSTEX for repeating hollow words and no action, casting doubt on their sincerity to implement the mechanism.

Hemmati criticized European countries for repeating “threadbare” remarks over their promised trade mechanism for Iran (INSTEX) and their failure to make it operational.

The CBI chief referred to the history of the establishment of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) by European countries, noting that it has been some two months since Iran created the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI) which is a mirror company to INSTEX.

The easiest way to operationalize INSTEX and STFI is that European countries start oil imports or grant a letter of credit to European exporters to Iran, he highlighted.

If Europeans are concerned about the US reaction to EU states' exports of goods to Iran, they can test their ability by exporting emergency supplies and medicine, he said, adding that the 'ball' of implementing INSTEX is now in Europe's court.

On Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined that Europe's proposed Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX) is not in promising conditions, cautioning that if put into action, INSTEX is just a very small part of EU's promised merits to Iran under the nuclear deal.

"INSTEX is progressing as an ordinary financial mechanism but it does not meet our demands in the nuclear deal. Our demand is that we should be able to do our mechanism and the resulting revenues should return home, be accessible and used. If INSTEX can help to this end, fine, but the Europeans should supply the necessary financial resources to INSTEX," Araqchi said.

He explained Iran's expectations that the present form of INSTEX is not acceptable since it covers only non-sanctioned items, saying Iran welcomes INSTEX if it is put into operation soon, but stressed that it should cover all sanctioned and non-sanctioned products, financial resources and all credit lines.

"The Europeans should either purchase oil from Iran so that INSTEX could come into operation or launch credit lines for us in other forms," Araqchi said.

He complained of the slow pace of the implementation of INSTEX, adding, "Its perspective is not much promising unless Europe makes a move in the 60-day deadline."

In relevant remarks last Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the INSTEX mechanism was less effective than originally planned, and that Moscow supported Iran's demand to include oil provisions.

"As far as I understand, it (INSTEX) is much less effective than it was planned, much less comprehensive. For Iran it is important that it allows to export Iranian oil, we support it, this is an absolutely legitimate requirement, which is enshrined in the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Even so far, the limited mechanism created by the Europeans has not begun to work. We urge them to draw conclusions from the current situation and begin to fulfill their obligations in full", Lavrov said.

Washington withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a plan to zero down Tehran's oil sales.

Under the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

In 2018, all the other signatories — Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and the EU — refused to follow the US example and confirmed their commitment to the accord, trying to save the deal with the Islamic Republic.

Iranian officials then warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country's patience.

Yet, Iran continued compliance with deal, stressing that the remaining signatories to the agreement had to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in compliance.

Europeans' honesty in dealing with the Iran nuclear deal has always been seriously doubted by Iranian masses that were discontent with talks with European states.

Almost a year later, however, the EU failed to provide Tehran with its promised merits. Then, the US state department announced that it had not extended two waivers, one that allowed Iran to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and one that allowed Iran to swap enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia.

Until now, Iran was allowed to ship low-enriched uranium produced at Natanz to Russia before it hit the 300-kg limit and the US measure leaves no way for Tehran other than exceeding the ceiling for storing the enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Also, the United States would no longer waive sanctions that allowed Iran to ship heavy water produced at its Arak facility beyond a 300-ton limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal to Oman for storage which again forces Tehran to store it inside country in violation of the nuclear deal.

In return, Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) announced in a statement on Wednesday that the country had modified two of its undertakings under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories inability to make up for the losses under the agreement, warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran declares that at the current stage, it does not any more see itself committed to respecting the limitations on keeping enriched uranium and heavy water reserves," the statement said.

The statement gave the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) "60 days to put into action their nuclear deal undertakings, specially in the banking and oil sectors, warning that "in case these countries fail to meet Iran's demands, the Islamic Republic of Iran will cease implementation of restrictions on uranium enrichment levels and measures related to the modernization of Arak Heavy Water Reactor as well".

"Once our demands are met, we will resume implementation of the ceased undertakings. Otherwise, the Islamic Republic of Iran will stop compliance with its other undertakings in consequent phases," the SNSC warned.

It underlined Iran's readiness to continue its consultations with the countries which have remained in the nuclear deal at all levels "but will show a firm and rapid reaction to any irresponsible measure, including referring the issue to the UN Security Council or imposition of more sanctions".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's president has in his letter to the leaders of the nuclear deal member states clearly reminded them of the Islamic Republic of Iran's type of reaction," the statement added.

It reminded the G4+1 of Iran's good will during the nuclear talks, implementation of the nuclear deal and  giving sufficient time to the other signatories to implement the deal, saying that it is now their turn to prove their good will and adopt serious and practical measures to protect the nuclear deal.

"The door of diplomacy will not remain open for a long time and the US and other members remaining under the nuclear deal are fully responsible for failure of the nuclear deal and any possible consequences," the statement said.

It underlined that the decision was made in line with defending the Iranian nation's security and national interests and materialization of Iran's rights stated in the paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a letter on Wednesday informed the Group 4+1 on stopping implementation of a number of Tehran's undertakings stated in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Araqchi submitted the letter to the ambassadors of the G4+1 to Tehran after they were called to the foreign ministry on Wednesday morning.

The letter contained decisions by the SNSC to "halt implementation of a number of the Islamic Republic of Iran's undertakings under the nuclear deal".

Also, another letter was sent by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday morning to inform her of details of Iran's measures.

Top EU diplomats said on Thursday they remain committed to the deal but will not bend to any ultimatums.

“We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPOA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps,” the officials noted in a statement.

"We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)," they added.

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