INSTEX, the mechanism which will facilitate trade with Iran, is now operational and its first transactions are being processed.
The announcement was made yesterday in Vienna, at the end of the 12th meeting of the Joint Commission that oversees the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear agreement.
INSTEX is available to all EU Member States. Some EU Member States are in the process of joining INSTEX as shareholders and INSTEX will soon be open to economic operators from third countries. Ongoing complementary cooperation with the Iranian corresponding entity (STFI), which has already been established, will speed up.
The meeting in Vienna of France, Germany, the UK, China, Russia and Iran was chaired by EEAS Secretary-General Helga Schmid, on behalf of the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini. The signatories of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) met at Political Directors/ Deputy Foreign Ministers level and held constructive discussions on the implementation of the Iran Deal. During this meeting, France, Germany and the UK informed participants that INSTEX had been made operational.
The senior officials also noted good progress on the modernisation of the Arak research reactor and the Fordow project, as foreseen in the JCPOA. The Joint Commission reaffirmed its firm commitment to fully support these nuclear projects.
The JCPOA remains a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, endorsed unanimously by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Furthermore, in light of the recent tensions, its preservation continues to be essential for the regional stability and security.
In view of recent concerning statements and developments, participants recalled the key importance of continued full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides. At the same time, participants recalled that the lifting of sanctions is an essential part of the agreement and reviewed their respective commitments in this regard. They also took stock of respective efforts aimed at mitigating the negative impact of US withdrawal and re-imposed US sanctions.
Participants underlined the key role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the only impartial body in charge of the monitoring of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in order to verify the exclusive peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme.
As part of the ongoing work on sanctions and nuclear issues, experts are looking into practical solutions in particular for the export of low enriched uranium (LEU) and heavy water under appropriate arrangements. In parallel, experts will continue to intensify efforts relating to the lifting of sanctions.