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 TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' 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 CoatsHillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger House Intel to take first major deep dive into threat of 'deepfakes' 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.