Iran supreme leader calls Europe trade channel Instex a ‘silly game’
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday called the European trading channel Instex, which was set up to circumvent US economic sanctions, a “silly game.”
“We should not trust anyone and also not take their promises seriously,” Khamenei told state TV, with regard to the barter mechanism founded by Germany, France and Britain.
The three countries, who were also involved in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, founded Instex after the United States left the agreement, to secure economic advantages and facilitate payments for Iran despite the US sanctions.
“We were meant to supply our money to the gentlemen [of the EU countries] for them to determine how to spend it … but they did not manage even that,” Khameini said.
But due largely to the international banking sanctions against Iran, the initiative never really took off.
Khameini said the long wait to see results from Instex only further damaged the Iranian economy.
The Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, was negotiated in 2015 to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons, in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
US President Donald Trump however left the treaty in May 2018 and reimposed heavy sanctions on Iran.
As most European companies adhere to the US sanctions, Tehran began violating many of the agreements made in 2015. Since then, the agreement has been on the brink of failure.