EU-Iran trade vehicle unlikely to meet anti-money-laundering norms: U.S.
08 May 2019

The United States said on Tuesday that European powers are unlikely to live up to a pledge to prevent their conduit for trade with Iran being used to launder money or finance terrorism, raising the prospect of further U.S. sanctions.

France, Britain and Germany have set up the special purpose vehicle called Instex, a conduit for barter-based trade with Iran, in an effort to protect at least some of Iran’s economy from sweeping U.S. sanctions and keep alive a big-power nuclear deal that Washington is about to quit.

The three European Union members have been trying to get Iran to keep its commitments under the deal to cut back its nuclear program – which Washington distrusts – by helping it to circumvent the trade sanctions that Washington has reimposed.

They want Instex to meet norms for legitimate financing set by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, even though Iran as a country is not yet fully compliant with them.

But U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said this would be hard for the Iranian side of Instex, with much of Iran’s economy both opaque and connected to institutions under U.S. sanctions such as the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

By Francois Murphy, Reuters, 7 May 2019

Read more at Reuters

Photo: Tony Webster [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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