French, British and German officials announced in a statement on Friday that the trade mechanism with Iran aimed at circumventing US sanctions, dubbed INSTEX, has been operational.
A special trade channel that will allow European firms to bypass American sanctions on Iran is operational - that was the outcome of the meeting between the countries who singed the nuclear deal ditched by US, according to RT.
The EU called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a "key element of global nuclear non-proliferation." The deal was in limbo after Washington left it a year ago and started piling up sanctions on Tehran, hampering its trade with other countries.
The statement comes after the remaining signatures of JCPOA gathered in Vienna for a meeting that Iranian ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called "the last chance for the remaining parties...to gather and see how they can meet their commitments towards Iran."
The mechanism would facilitate transactions between European and Iranian companies, bypassing the need for financial institutions like SWIFT to carry out exchanges. A payment balancing system will allow companies in Europe to buy Iranian goods, and vice-versa, without money-transfers between European and Iranian banks.
Iran has established a counterpart to INSTEX known as the STFI, which EU officials said will now speed up cooperation with the European trade vehicle.
Iran's officials had reiterated that if INSTEX fails to meet Iran’s demands within the framework of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the country would take the next steps more decisively, explaining that after Iran set an ultimatum for the European signatories of the JCPOA, Europeans began some steps to expedite the implementation of INSTEX, but the steps were not enough for Iran, because the way of its implementation and its time frame is important to the country.
Iran’s next steps over JCPOA depend on the practical measures by the European countries, Iranian officials said.