The channel, called Instrument for Finance and Trade between Iran and Europe, was registered on Tuesday March 19. A group of Iranian state and private banks as well as some companies are the mechanism's stakeholders. The company has been set up and registered due to 'non-stop efforts of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI)'.
Earlier, the Central Bank of Iran announced it would unveil INSTEX opposite number “soon”, saying it would be called STFI, an acronym that wasn’t announced what it stands for.
'A mechanism similar to the [European] channel introduced from the E3 will soon be registered in Tehran called STFI,' Governor of Central Bank of Iran Abdolnaser Hemmati said on Saturday, referring to Germany, France and the UK that set up the European special financial mechanism with Iran called Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).
INSTEX was introduced by foreign ministers of the European trio on the sidelines of a European Union summit in the Romanian capital Bucharest on the last day of January.
INSTEX has been registered at the address of France's Economy and Finance Ministry in Paris. German banker Per Fischer has been chosen for a period of six months to run it. Also, a senior UK diplomat is expected to head the Supervisory Board.
Earlier, INSTEX president Per Fischer visited Iran to hold talks with Iranian stakeholders in a bid to work out details of the payment channel. “Through talks that my colleagues held with representatives of the three European countries and the INSTEX director at the Central Bank of Iran, complete explanation about the Iranian mechanism similar to the European version was given and we are waiting for practical steps from Europe,” Hemmati added on Saturday.
The CBI governor noted that Tehran 'will continue its strategy to secure finance and trade under the sanctions especially through our neighbours and other trade partners.'
The channel is meant to help facilitate trade of essential non-sanctioned goods that have been restricted under the secondary US sanctions that have been designed to block major financial transactions with Iran.
The first phase is expected to be limited to the trade of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and agri-foods.