INSTEX: Gateway to EU strategic autonomy?

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Publication Date February 2019
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We talked to Nicolas VĂ©ron, senior fellow at Bruegel and at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, about the practical details of the new international transactions platform with Iran INSTEX, and the outlook for this European initiative.

On 31 January 2019, France, Germany and the UK set up a common platform for international transactions with Iran known as INSTEX (short for "Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges"). This is the latest stage in the dispute over the American withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran known as JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). The first raft of United States sanctions came back into force last November last year but Europe wants to stick to JCPOA. European banks and companies now fear Washington will impose penalties if they make payments for commercial transactions with Iranian companies but the new channel INSTEX may enable these dealings to take place beyond the watch of US monitoring.

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