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Diplomat cautions EU against pandering to US when pursuing economic cooperation with Iran

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov believes that the "European Union must rise above its dual approaches of "playing both sides of the fence"

MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. The EU should abandon its policy of trying to please the US if it wants to launch efficient cooperation with Iran, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Monday.

"The European Union must rise above its dual approaches of "playing both sides of the fence", when they try not to annoy the Americans, but at the same time do something to make Iran see their real efforts," the diplomat said.

"By making the right choice, by deciding in favor of normal cooperation, they must do what is necessary to do - open the floodgates to practical cooperation [with Iran]," Ryabkov said.

"There are certain requests, demands that Iran create a mechanism parallel to INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges). We believe that multiplying these somewhat artificial requests and demands is counterproductive," the Russian diplomat added.

He believes that instead of devising new requirements and requests, Brussels should "get down to practical work and start servicing transactions not limited only to food, essentials and medicines that the Americans have already exempted from sanctions, so that Iran can get, if not economic dividends, then at least a guaranteed possibility to use the mechanism for legal trade and other deals with third countries."

On January 31, the UK, Germany and France (the European Union signatories of the Iran nuclear deal) launched a special purpose vehicle (SPV) dubbed INSTEX in order to facilitate legal trade with Iran. France agreed to take the SPV under its jurisdiction, while Iran is expected to establish a similar entity. The vehicle should support technical opportunities of making transactions with Tehran and does not relieve those using it from US sanctions.

To launch the INSTEX mechanism, a similar company must be set up in Iran. Besides, Tehran must bring its legislation into conformity with recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force on money laundering).