INSTEX -a payment channel that the three EU signatories to the JCPOA have set up to maintain trade with Iran- will be ready soon, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Monday.
“This is an instrument of a new kind, so it’s not straightforward to operationalize it,” Maas told reporters in Tehran ahead of talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The top German diplomat arrived in Tehran on Sunday night.
“But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I’m assuming we’ll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future,” he added.
Heiko Maas’s visit to Tehran is part of a concerted European effort to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been rising since US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposed unilateral economic sanctions against Iran, mainly targeting its energy dealings on the global market.
On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, announcing that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)