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.


"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 TrumpForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Lara Trump: Merkel admitting migrants 'one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany' Financial satisfaction hits record high: survey 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: Facebook expects up to B FTC fine | DHS face scanning at airports sparks alarm | New Twitter tool targets election misinformation | Lawmakers want answers on Google 'Sensorvault' Dems accuse White House of caving to Trump's 'ego' on Russian meddling US official says getting White House to focus on Russian interference like 'pulling teeth': CNN 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.