Q : Can the Europeans remain in the JCPOA given the new situation, following the announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that sanctions would be imposed on Iranian oil? How are Paris and Berlin addressing this issue at the moment? What is the status of the INSTEX initiative?
A : France is determined to implement the JCPOA, which was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in its resolution 2231 (2015). Together with its European partners, France intends to continue its efforts to ensure that Iran reaps the economic benefits associated with the lifting of sanctions as long as it continues to honor all of its nuclear obligations.
To that end, France, Germany and the United Kingdom established the INSTEX financial compensation mechanism, which will facilitate financial transactions for European firms that wish to maintain trade relations with Iran, in accordance with European and international law. The work initiated is progressing in a positive manner with a view toward ensuring its successful conclusion in the near future. Iran must also make progress on the work to make its mirror-image version of the mechanism (STFI) operational. In-depth discussions with French, British and German experts are underway, in conjunction with Iranian experts, in order to ensure that the two structures operate in a way that is compatible and in conformity with international financial standards.