INSTEX without credit not acceptable to Iran: Deputy FM

Europe's efforts to help Iran thwart the US sanctions is valuable but not enough unless it receives the required credit, a senior Iranian diplomat said Sunday.

As a preliminary step, and a means for trade between Iran and Europe, INSTEX is a good initiative, Abbas Araghchi said referring to the financial channel—Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges— the European signatories to the nuclear deal had undertaken to provide Iran with such a means.

However, the implementation of the initiative has taken so long time, he added at a joint press conference with spokesmen of Government and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

INSTEX will bring no income unless the European countries buy Iran's oil, or allocate credit to Iran, Araghchi said, noting that no such measures have been taken yet.

The INSTEX was made operational by both sides, and the two parties are in contact with each other, he said confirming that a couple of minor pilot exchanges have been conducted.

"We believe that it will be no good unless there is enough credit," he said, welcoming the efforts made by Europe in defiance of US sanctions as a valuable "political move".

"We are communicating, making visits and phone calls, either officially or unofficially, and are hoping that they lead to a solution," he said, "Otherwise, we will take the third step after the next 60-day deadline."

On Sunday, Tehran said that at the second phase of its measures to preserve the nuclear deal, it officially launches enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent limit that is set by the deal. The first stage came on the anniversary of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May when Iran announced it reduces its commitments under the deal.

Asked about Arak Reactor, Araghchi said, "As it was stipulated in the letters of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Rouhani, Arak is a separate issue, and because the process of modernization of the reactor has been delayed, if the remaining signatories to the JCPOA cannot rectify the process and lead Arak on the track as it was specified on schedule, we naturally will complete it according to our own formula and technology."

Asked about UK Navy's wrongful act to seize Iranian supertanker in the high seas passing through the international waterway of Gibraltar, Araghchi said, "Contrary to what the British government claims, the tanker was not heading to Syria, as the country does not have any port for docking such a giant supertanker. The destination of the tanker was somewhere else. It has been moving along the international waterway of Gibraltar."

"The International Law does not allow the UK Navy to seize Iranian supertanker. It amounts to sea piracy in our view, and we urge the UK government to release the supertanker," he said.

UK seized the Iranian tanker on Thursday, claiming that the act was in line with the EU sanctions on Syria.

News Code 190550

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