Iran`s President Hassan Rouhani says US is pursuing `incorrect path`

Elias Hubbard
June 27, 2019

The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is EU's special payment channel with Iran, which was announced by the European Union in January to secure trade with Iran and skirt U.S. anti-Iran sanctions after Washington pulled out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA) in May 2018.

French intelligence services has also said they did not believe the USA drone, which was shot down by Iran last Thursday, had violated Iranian air space.

Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, told the Security Council on Wednesday evening that USA actions had "rendered the JCPOA nearly fully ineffective, and that "Iran alone can not, shall not and will not take all of the burdens" to preserve it".

The confrontation has raised fears that a conflict between the two countries would quickly escalate into a wider war that could consume the entire region.

US President Donald Trump has said he is willing to hold talks with the Islamic Republic.

"I'm not talking boots on the ground".

Speaking from the White House, the US President said the new sanctions order would bar Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and his office from access to the worldwide financial system. "The Iranian nation will not give in and retreat in the face of such insults", Khamenei was quoted as saying by his official website.

The EU is likely to counter that Europe is using its best endeavours to boost trade, but had no obligation under the deal to take steps to compensate for the effect of threatened U.S. sanctions on any firm that trades with Iran.

Mr Trump pulled the United States out of an agreement with Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union that offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for limiting its nuclear program a year ago.

He has imposed punishing sanctions in bid to force Tehran to accept a more restrictive deal.

France is attempting to mediate between Iran and the U.S. as European nations search for a way to defuse the growing tensions.

Iran is due to take further more serious steps to breach the deal on 7 July when it has pledged to increase uranium enrichment purity levels over the 3.67% limit set in the deal.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated in recent weeks after Washington blamed Tehran for attacks on two oil tankers, followed by the downing of a United States surveillance drone off Iran's coast.

The financial vehicle, known as INSTEX, has been in preparation for almost six months.

Iran has said that an announcement of a credit line - pre-briefed to the Iranians in lengthy technical talks in Tehran last week - hardly represents the seriousness of intent it requires to stay inside the JCPOA.

It was unclear on Wednesday whether making it operational will be enough to persuade Iran not to breach its nuclear deal commitments. They won't allow us to export to Europe right now.

France has not said it would back Iran in the growing conflict against the US. "We are asking everybody to cool it down", Mr Salih said in a speech in London. "You start a war and it is very hard to end it".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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