Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Yavad Zarif said today that Europe no longer has "an excuse" to continue delaying the implementation of the special instex payment mechanism, which aims to facilitate trade with Iran despite US sanctions.
"To implement the mechanism, Iran needed to launch a similar channel, which started (to function) last week, now Europeans have no excuse for further delay," Zarif was quoted as saying by Iranian official agencies.
The Trade Exchange Support Instrument (Instex) was designed to maintain trade with Iran, despite sanctions imposed by the United States following its unilateral withdrawal last year from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran.
France, the United Kingdom and Germany presented it last January and on March 19 Iran registered the corresponding company necessary for its operation, but the European mechanism has not yet been launched.
Therefore, the head of Iranian diplomacy stressed that Europeans must "work hard to fulfill their commitments."
"They are very slow and should not assume that Iran will wait forever," said Zarif, adding that they have already launched similar mechanisms with neighboring countries that are functioning "well".
"We have no idea how much time Europeans need to launch a rudimentary mechanism," he criticized.
The European Union (EU) said after a meeting last March that work will continue to make it operational "as soon as possible."
Besides the delay in its implementation, another problem is that in its first phase it will be limited to trade in pharmaceutical products, medical devices and food, which does not cover the expectations created, since initially it was announced that it would include the oil exports.
The US imposed sanctions in August and November last year on numerous economic sectors in Iran, including banking and energy, with the idea of preventing Iran's oil exports.
The rest of the signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement (Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom, plus Germany) continue to support the pact and have made efforts to counter US sanctions, although not all measures have now paid off.