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Iran: Endless inner-fighting about INSTEX, Europe’s financial mechanism

INSTEX, the European vehicle that is supposed to enable the Iranian regime to circumvent U.S. sanctions
INSTEX, the European vehicle that is supposed to enable the Iranian regime to circumvent U.S. sanctions

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Feb. 23, 2019 - The fire of inner-fighting among the Iranian ruling elite is burning with an increasingly vicious smell and INSTEX, Europe’s financial mechanism that is supposed to allow the Iranian regime to circumvent U.S. sanctions, has become one of the main factors to fan the fight.

In an interview with state-run ILNA news agency, former Iranian diplomat Mohammad Reza Tajik, argues that considering the regime’s bankruptcy and popular discontent, conceding to Europe is appropriate: “The impact of the sanctions is slowly showing itself and faces the country with economic and resulting political-societal challenges which can have political, societal and security dimensions.”

He further describes the European mechanism as a rescue path for the Iranian regime and says: “We have infrastructural problems. It’s not only that we have a single-product economy that depends on oil, but oil has now a direct link to people’s food basket and if the sanctions can lower oil sales and one cannot access the proceeds of selling oil, Iran will face fundamental difficulties. Especially in the next one or two years, when the sovereign wealth fund nears zero… INSTEX can become a launchpad for Iran to exit the pressure conditions.”

But Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of Iranian parliament’s security commission, although himself a proponent of engaging Europe and using INSTEX, is concerned and says: “Linking FATF to INSTEX is not possible and Europe should not waste time on this and miss the opportunity.”

“Europe’s financial mechanism still hasn’t defined a mechanism for Iran to sell oil and this isn’t an issue that can be ignored,” he further said.

According to Tasnim news agency, which is tied to the terrorist Quds Force, Abolfazl Hassan-Bigi, deputy of the national security and foreign policy commission, says about INSTEX: “We shouldn’t be optimistic about Europe’s promises. We should rather search for development paths inside the country.”

“Europeans have no will and authority to implement this mechanism and respect their commitments,” he further said.

In an editorial titled “All the deceptions of Europe,” Siasat-e Rooz, another state-run news outlet, explains: “Europe’s proposals based on SPV or INSTEX are also part of this deception.” The article was written based on remarks made by regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

“Europe, in order to implement its gracious! proposal for Iran, has put some unacceptable conditions in place. Europe has conditioned that if INSTEX is to be implemented, Iran has to accept FATF’s conventions and implement them, while despite the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1, there has been no opening [in terms of] banking [relations],” Siasat-e Rooz further writes.

Hassan Rouhani’s government pretends that INSTEX is an opportunity to exit the current economic plague of the Islamic Republic.

But INSTEX’s benefits are orders of magnitude less than the benefits of JCPOA and even if it becomes operational, the Iranian regime will still face an economic downfall.

Still, Rouhani has no option but to blow into the INSTEX balloon, since it’s the lesser evil, officials think.

On the other hand, Khamenei’s faction points out that the essence of the FATF bills are a toxic potion that will neutralize the fundamental philosophy of the Islamic Republic and eventually shake and crumble its power structure.

Thus far, Khamenei’s faction is right: The Islamic Republic can’t continue its existence without exporting terrorism and financing terrorism. But their proposal to count and depend on internal potential is blatant nonsense.

If the Islamic Republic had the internal potential in terms of human resources, technological knowledge, and organizational structures to count on, it wouldn’t be where it is today in the first place, where Rouhani’s faction is literally begging Europe to rescue their corrupt theocracy.