May 1, 2019, 5:28 PM
News Code: 83299546
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Iran's parallel system to INSTEX, operational

Tehran, May 1, IRNA - The Iranian mirror company for the European payment channel INSTEX will carry out the first financial transaction with Europe in coordination with trade partners, Tehran-based firm's president Ali Asghar Nouri said on Wednesday.

“After the creation and registration of SATMA [the Iranian counterparty to INSTEX] and taking into account the meetings and coordination efforts between European countries and INSTEX, the first financial transactions between Iran and Europe is supposed to be carried out in coordination with trade partners including the Iranian and European banks,” said Ali Asghar Nouri, the CEO of Iranian company, according to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
Special Trade and Finance Instrument between Iran and Europe (STFI), called SATMA in Persian, was registered on 22 April in Tehran with former private banker Ali Asghar Nouri has been appointed for administration of the company for the next two years.

Nouri, who was previously director of international affairs at the private lender Iran Zamin Bank, said Tehran has announced that it’s ready to make the Iranian mechanism functional to realize payments and receive deposits.
“It has also been emphasized to speed up works to make the structure functional sooner,” the STFI president said.

The banker said that talks have been held with Iranian banks to explain how the financial channel works. Nouri added that his company will hold talks with Iranian importers and exporters next week in a bid to brief them on the STFI structure.

The Iranian counterparty has a four-member Board of Directors, made up of three banks and one online banking services firm. Hamid Ghanbari, a former CBI banker, chairs the board for the next two years.

The Central Bank of Iran said in a statement on Wednesday that it is taking further measures with Iranian banks to speed up the channel.

Germany, France and the UK, the three European signatories to the Iranian nuclear deal of 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), announced creation of their Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for trade with Iran on the last day of January.

The E3 foreign ministers said they’ve called the firm Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX). Former German banker Per Fischer has been appointed as the company’s president.

Speaking at a meeting with UK-based companies and businesses in London, Fischer said the STFI is prepared to conduct the first trade exchange with its Iranian counterparty in the shortest time possible.

The special payment mechanism is meant to unblock humanitarian trade with Iran, including medicine, medical devices and agrifoods.

The US unilateral sanctions on Iran have also hindered trade of such items although they are exempt from any sanctions regime. However, the US targeting of any international banking ties with Iran has made many banks shy away from clearing financial transactions with Tehran out of fear of US reprisals.

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