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E3 moves to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran

Paul Hodgson | February 21, 2019

The E3—comprised of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom—has set up a special trade channel designed to allow companies in the European Union to circumvent U.S. sanctions in an effort to continue humanitarian trade with Iran and encourage Iran to comply with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

U.S. sanctions were put in place in November and halted most significant trade between Iran and its European partners because of fears among large multinational companies that they would be targeted by U.S. authorities.

The Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX SAS) has been registered in France and will be run by German banker and former Commerzbank manager Per Fischer. The new special purpose vehicle (SPV) will have a supervisory board consisting of diplomats from all three countries. While INSTEX is likely to take months to implement, another obstacle will be to find European companies that are willing to...

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