Joint Statement by Germany, France and the United Kingdom (E3) on INSTEX

March 9, 2023

The INSTEX shareholders – Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK – have decided to liquidate INSTEX. INSTEX was set up by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom in 2019 to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, particularly in humanitarian goods.  Over  the past 4 years, INSTEX has consistently tried to facilitate trade exchanges between Europe and Iran. There was a strong and sustained demand by European exporters to use the INSTEX mechanism, mainly from the humanitarian sector.

For political reasons, Iran has systematically prevented INSTEX from fulfilling its mandate. Iran only agreed to a single transaction, in early 2020, for the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran. After that, Iran consistently and deliberately blocked other proposals for transactions between the United Kingdom, Norway, the European Union and Iran. This was born from a political determination to impede the use of INSTEX under any circumstance. Thus, the Iranian leadership has chosen to act against the interests of its people by refusing to cooperate on the export of medicine and other life-saving goods.

In light of Iran’s persistent refusal to engage with the company, the INSTEX shareholders have reached the conclusion that there is no more ground for maintaining INSTEX operational. The INSTEX shareholders have voted in favor of the dissolution of INSTEX at the extraordinary general assembly of March 9th 2023. This decision is taken on its own merits for exclusively commercial reasons.