Mnuchin fires warning shot at EU trade with Iran

CHANTILLY, France — European trade with Iran must respect Washingtons sanctions against Tehran, the U.S. Treasury Secretary said today.

“We want to make sure that Instex is very careful on diligence and not doing anything that would run into issues of our sanctions,” Steven Mnuchin told reporters after a two-day meeting between finance ministers and central bankers of G7 countries.

Instex is the “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) incorporated this year by France, Germany and the U.K. to keep EU business channels open with Iran, thwarting President Donald Trumps sanctions.

Trump imposed the sanctions after pulling the U.S. out of a deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — to constrain Irans nuclear program, as agreed among European leaders, Tehran and the Barack Obama administration.

EU leaders opposed Trumps withdrawal and have pledged to honor the Iran deal. Russia has since thrown its weight behind the SPV and called on the EU to expand Instexs business to include oil exports.

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