European powers create workaround to US trade sanctions against Iran

European powers create workaround to US trade sanctions against Iran
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Britain, France and Germany have created a channel for trading with Iran, working around U.S. sanctions.

The mechanism for trade is known as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), Reuters reported on Thursday.

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"We have been looking for ways to obtain this agreement because we are firmly convinced that it serves our strategic security interests in Europe," said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at a press conference.

INSTEX will be used only to trade smaller items such as food and medicine, but could be expanded in the future, according to Reuters.

The channel is an attempt to revive elements of the 2015 Iran agreement, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE pulled the U.S. out of last year. The deal offered expanded trade with Iran in exchange for the country abandoning its ballistic missile program.

Iran has said it will abandon the 2015 accord if it does not reap economic rewards. New U.S. sanctions against Iran have dissuaded European companies from investing in the country.

Trump on Wednesday blasted top U.S. intelligence officials for being "wrong" about their new assessment on Iran's nuclear developments.

"The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!" Trump tweeted, a day after Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsEx-Trump official says intel community's testimony interfered in US-North Korea talks Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel offered testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that appeared to contradict the president's views on Iran.

Coats told lawmakers that the intelligence community has found that Iran is not seeking to develop its nuclear weapons capabilities.