(Persia Digest) - Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati, said Wed. that despite sanctions and US efforts to undermine Iran’s oil sector, the country’s oil exports are on the rise.
“I said it before and I’ll say it again, they [US] have done all they could [against Iran]. We have climbed past the peak of sanctions. Our oil exports are on the rise,” Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati, told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Mehr News reports that his remarks were in reaction to the new US sanctions, targeting the country’s topmost authorities, including the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's foreign minister Zarif, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“A lack of fluctuations in the forex market showed that the new sanctions had no effect,” he added.
He then touched upon the EU’s trade mechanism for Iran, saying “it’s been a while since EU claimed it is on the brink of making INSTEX operational. We haven’t seen anything in practice, though. They have held meetings with us and some documents have been exchanged, but as long as no resources are transferred via INSTEX, the mechanism is of no use to us.”
On Tuesday, EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the trade mechanism called INSTEX, aimed at facilitating trade with Iran in the face of US sanctions, is “now ready to be operational.”
“I believe that this [INSTEX] is now ready to be operational and I hope that this is something that can help to keep Iran compliant with the agreement, as it has been so far and as we all want to see this continue to be the case,” she stressed.
Hemmati, meanwhile, went on to add, “without any exports to Europe, we cannot have any imports either. They won’t allow us to export to Europe right now. There needs to be a line of credit for Iran; this way, it will take less than a week for the INSTEX to become operational.”
The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is EU's special payment channel with Iran, which was announced by the EU in January to secure trade with Iran and skirt US anti-Iran sanctions after Washington pulled out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA) in May 2018.
Iran in turn has set up a matching channel called Special Trade and Finance Instrument (STFI). INSTEX, despite earlier claims, is said to deal essentially with food and medical trade, while Iran's insistence on having the mechanism in place is mainly for its oil exports.
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