Europe’s JCPOA Approach Has Fueled Mistrust

Europe’s JCPOA Approach Has Fueled Mistrust
Europe’s JCPOA Approach Has Fueled Mistrust

Europe’s lax stance for saving the 2015 nuclear deal, following the United States’ illegal exit, has created a sense of mistrust among Iranian people, a senior official said. 
“Swift action to activate INSTEX [Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges] can change the current anti-European sentiment in Iran,” Kamal Kharrazi, the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, said in a recent meeting with a delegation from the French think thank Institute Montaigne, Mehr News Agency reported. 
After Washington pulled out of the agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and reimposed the sanctions, the European Union voiced strong support for the deal and took the initiative to salvage JCPOA by developing a mechanism to keep trade flowing with Iran. 
However, their most essential instrument, the special purpose vehicle known as INSTEX, has only recently been registered and is yet to become operational. 
This is while Iran has been under harsh oil and banking sanctions for around five months, which have severely crippled its economy. 



Sensitive Issue 

The statement released by E3 (France, Britain and Germany that jointly registered the INSTEX) has called on Iran to swiftly pass the legal reforms that would bring the country in line with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force, the international body that monitors money laundering and terrorist financing worldwide. 
The phrase, interpreted by some analysts as Europe’s precondition for the activation of its financial mechanism, has fueled the mistrust of Iranians toward Europe and made decision-making over FATF more controversial.   
“Due to the West’s coercive policies, FATF has turned into a sensitive issue in Iran,” Kharrazi said. 
Iran’s FATF action plan consists of four bills, two of which have already become law but the remaining ones have faced the objection of Guardians Council, the watchdog that ensures laws passed by the parliament comply with Iran's Constitution and Islamic standards. 
The bills are currently being reviewed by the Expediency Council, a body tasked with resolving disputes between the Majlis and Guardians Council. 

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