Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on Tuesday that the normalization of trade relations with Iran was the first step of the European Union to comply with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, the Press TV broadcaster reported, Trend reports citing Reuters.
On Sunday, the participants of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA meeting in Vienna called on Tehran to abstain from the third stage of abandoning obligations under the deal, tentatively scheduled for early September.
After US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, France, Germany and the United Kingdom decided to create a joint mechanism for settlements with Iran (INSTEX).
Following a meeting of the Joint Commission of the Iranian nuclear deal in June, the mechanism became operational and available to all EU member states. At the first stage, it must ensure the supply of medicines, medical equipment and agricultural products. However, Tehran is seeking to export oil amid US sanctions.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said after June meeting that the European Union was not yet ready to use INSTEX to settle Iranian oil export transactions.
The European Union said last month that INSTEX was now operational and that its first transactions were being processed. The mechanism is available to all EU members and will soon be accessible to economic operators from other countries.
In May 2018, the United States withdrew from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and imposed several consecutive rounds of economic sanctions on Tehran.
These measures target Iran's financial and banking sectors, oil and metal industries, trade, and weapons development, in addition to imposing travel bans and asset freezes. The most recent round was applied to the petrochemical industry on 7 June over Tehran's financial support for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.