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European companies, banks ready to join Europe's channel with Iran: INSTEX president

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, September 17, IRNA -- Several European companies and banks have expressed their readiness to join the European financial channel with Iran, INSTEX, in a bid to help operationalize the system, said new INSTEX president on Tuesday.

"We have seen some requests from European companies such as one French firm that wishes to sell cattle to Iran," said INSTEX new president Michael Bock in a meeting with Iranian private sector on Tuesday.

Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) was set up by France, Germany and the UK, the three signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in January in the face of reimposed unilateral US sanctions on Iran.

Bock, who recently replaced German Diplomat Berndt Erbel as INSTEX President, mentioned that some small Italian, German and French banks are also ready to take part in the mechanism to clear the barter trade.

He made the remark in a meeting with the board of governors of German business delegate in Iran, representatives of some German companies as well caretaker deputy for international affairs at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), Hesamoddin Hallaj in Tehran on Tuesday.

INSTEX hasn't had any transactions so far for the lack of capital. Iran says it should obtain its capital from the sales of Iranian crude.

France has proposed a $15 billion credit line for Iran. But, it's not known if it will be used within the European financial channel with Iran. "This credit line is very necessary," said Hallaj.

He warned that if Europe fails to implement the mechanism faster, then Iranian businesses will continue to look east.

According to TCCIMA's caretaker deputy for international affairs, the chamber of commerce is working on the goods that can be exchanged via barter as well as the Iranian companies that are prepared to take part in the process.

Bock welcomed the move, saying that Tehran Chamber of Commerce should later give the list to the Special Trade and Finance between Iran and the European Union (STFI), the Iranian counterpart to INSTEX.

Both sides agreed that companies and firms that want to join the channel need to be evaluated first.


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