Iran : where is the european mechanism supposed to save the agreement on nuclear power ?

Tehran puts pressure on the Europeans. The iranian capital has just announced that it was preparing to enrich its uranium to a higher degree than the ceiling es

Iran : where is the european mechanism supposed to save the agreement on nuclear power ?

Tehran puts pressure on the Europeans. The iranian capital has just announced that it was preparing to enrich its uranium to a higher degree than the ceiling established by the Vienna agreement of 2015. Europe is yet to obtain Iran's compliance with this agreement that governs its nuclear activities. In exchange, she promised the circumvention of u.s. sanctions in place since the withdrawal of the United States in may 2018. A mechanism of barter has been established, but Iran deems insufficient. Explanations.

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• What does the mechanism of barter introduced by the Europeans?

originally, this mechanism was launched by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, has been devised to circumvent us sanctions and allow Iran to continue its oil sales. He had to avoid the recourse to financial intermediaries using the dollar, or operating in the United States and who preferred not to violate the embargo imposed by the United States. Baptized Instex (Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges), this instrument, quite complex, was officially created at the end of January. It takes the form of a clearing house. Specifically, a company of iran, which will sell his goods to a european company will open a line of credit with the clearing house. It will then use this line of credit to make other purchases. Example: if Iran sells oil to Germany and Spain sells machine tools to Iran, the sum corresponding to the delivery of oil will be used directly to pay the German supplier. The mechanism works by mirroring, iranian side, allowing european companies that export to Iran is to see it open up a line of credit with Instex. There is thus no transfer of money between Iran and the european countries, which does not fall within the ambit of the us sanctions. In exchange for the implementation of this mechanism, Iran had to comply with the commitments made in the framework of the Vienna agreement on the nuclear.

This mechanism come into action?

The first transaction must be carried out "in a few days", said on Thursday last the minister of the Economy, français, Bruno Le Maire. But in a first time, its scope of action is limited to the areas which are deemed essential to the iranian population as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and agri-food products. In other words, goods that are not covered by the u.s. sanctions. What makes say to its critics that Instex has a more political than economic.

• claimed by Iran?

Tehran believes that Instex is not ambitious enough. The country reminds us that this mechanism was to allow him to continue to enjoy the economic benefits that it was supposed to wait in exchange for control of its nuclear program. But this promise is not happening. "For Instex is useful to Iran, it is necessary for Europeans to buy iran's oil", was summary on Friday, the minister of foreign Affairs, iran's deputy, Abbas Araghchi. Iran, for which oil represents the main source of income, wants to sell his black gold to levels prior to the recovery of sanctions by the United States. Its crude exports have now dropped to about 300,000 barrels per day from 2.5 million shipped a year earlier. "Oil exports are a mandatory requirement and it is rational. The Iranians are strangled economically. However, this mechanism of barter, the Europeans are so timid. They have made more than a year to put in place and all of that for that! The Iranians are disappointed," says Thierry Coville, researcher at the Iris and specialist on Iran.

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iranian officials had threatened to reduce their commitments to nuclear unless the countries signatories of the agreement did not provide better protection in the face of u.s. sanctions. Lack of result, Tehran has put his threat to execution. On Monday, the country announced it had exceeded the threshold limit of 3.67% uranium enrichment, which was imposed under the terms of the agreement in 2015. And on the verge of breaking a new commitment in 60 days. "Politically, for a moment, the moderates in Iran said 'the Europeans are with us". And then this discourse has become less credible. Today, the Iranians are switched to something else. They had so far complied with the agreement so they were waiting for concrete measures," says Thierry Coville

• How does Europe?

Europe still wants to believe in the rescue of the Vienna agreement with its mechanism of barter. "This first transaction will be modest, but it is a starting point and we expect that Instex is an effective tool. As this is a first, it takes time to perform operations that are more important," said Bruno Le Maire. In addition to broadening its scope of action, Europe also hopes to convince other countries to join the mechanism. "The Europeans have an interest to extend it, because it is clear that in the next few months, the Iranians will continue to enrich their uranium. They said it: or it is win-win now, or it is lose-lose for everyone. Tehran wants the agreement to be respected, point final", decrypts Thierry Coville.

In the meantime, Paris has taken pains to ease the pressure. After talks with his counterpart, Hassan Rohani, Emmanuel Macron has sent his diplomatic advisor, Emmanuel Good, to Tehran to try to "assemble the elements of a de-escalation". The French president has also engaged in dialogue with Donald Trump, which threatens Iran with new sanctions. "What is lacking on the european side, it is the political will. You can't both say that you want to save the agreement on the nuclear and continue to follow Donald Trump by saying that we share his concern. The Europeans must also have the political will to avoid an escalation. It is the only solution. And perhaps it is in the interests of the strategy of iran", concludes the expert.

Date Of Update: 11 July 2019, 00:00

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