Iran Factions Still Divided Over INSTEX
By Mahmoud Hakamian
There is still a great deal of controversy in Iran over the European financial channel - the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) - that was designed to help the mullahs evade US sanctions, with opposing political factions calling their rivals “traitor” and “saboteur” for supporting/opposing this move.
The fact that Europe will only implement INSTEX after Iran has ratified the necessary financial transparency bills required by the Financial Action Task Force is only intensifying the factional fight over whether to pursue INSTEX.
Those in the Rouhani faction want the FATF bills passed and INSTEX implemented in order to shore up an economy plagued by decades of incompetence and corruption on the part of the mullahs.
Those in the Khamenei faction are unwilling to save the economy because they fear that the financial transparency will expose what the majority of the world is already aware of, that the Iranian Regime is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and that it funds terror groups across the Middle East.
The Iranian Judiciary-affiliated Hemayat online newspaper wrote that INSTEX, much like the 2015 nuclear deal, would not benefit Iran and could “put conditions on political and economic relations”, while Iranian pundit Majid Tafrashi pointed out that INSTEX will not help Iran to trade with big companies anyway, because they will be looking to protect their much larger trading relationship with the US.
International law professor Mohsen Jalilvand also explained that INSTEX is designed to “trade oil with food, medicaments, and agricultural and medical equipment” so it was not likely to make a massive difference to the Iranian economy.
He said: “In the final analysis, Europe is under the umbrella of the US.”
Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, member of the Expediency Discernment Council, where the FATF bills are being reviewed, said: “Decisions about this are very delicate. It’s not like there is a choice between good and evil, but we should rather say that we are choosing the lesser of two evils.”
Iran’s former representative in the International Monetary Fund, Mohammad Qavam said that INSTEX was like bait because Europe had only introduced it rather than actually giving it to Iran without conditions and highlighting that not even Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is able to say how INSTEX will work.
Of course, what is being lost in all of this is that Europe should not continue to appease the Iranian Regime and should instead be imposing sanctions to help the Iranian people overthrow the mullahs.