Iran and Europe complete first INSTEX deal dodging US sanctions

European nations have exported medical supplies to Iran as part of a mechanism set up to circumvent US sanctions on Tehran. The two sides have struggled over the past year to establish the INSTEX barter system.

Europe and Iran have completed their first transaction under a complicated barter system set up to dodge US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the creation of the INSTEX mechanism has enabled the export of medical devices from Europe.

The ministry — speaking on behalf of Germany, France and the UK — said the mechanism would allow many other transactions to proceed.


Partial trade ties maintained

INSTEX aims to at least partially maintain that trade and thereby save the nuclear agreement.

Transactions can now be carried out via INSTEX, a protective shield that ensures that no money directly changes hands.

Read more: What is the EU-Iran payment vehicle INSTEX?


COVID-19 infections still rising

On Tuesday, the number of cases in the country passed 44,000, while almost 2,900 people have died. The Iranian government warned the epidemic could run for several more months and cost over 10,000 lives. Tehran’s struggle to bring the virus’ spread under control has been made more difficult by the US sanctions.