The Finnish ambassador to Iran Keijo Norvanto believes that Europe's special mechanism for trade with Iran, known as Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), will help European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to do business with Iran.

Iran Press/Europe: In an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), published on Saturday, Norvanto hailed the E3 initiative to register the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).

According to an Iran Press report, following the US' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the EU took the decision to salvage and preserve the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA).

By implementing the Blocking Statute, the EU companies’ compliance with the US unilateral sanctions was annulled.

Norvanto added: "When INSTEX is fully operational, I personally believe that European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will consider their return to Iran in a positive way."

Norvanto also said: "They also need a level playing field, as they are very sensitive to trade barriers and other market access challenges. The number of Finnish companies returning to Iran is not yet clear."

Norvanto stressed that INSTEX signifies EU’s commitment to the JCPOA and its implementation.

He admitted that there had been a long delay in setting up the mechanism, but said, in the future, INSTEX would improve the situation and it would facilitate trade and benefit both Iranian and European companies and customers.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Norvanto referred to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime which has contributed to regional security, saying: "Finland together with our European partners is fully committed to the JCPOA, and we encourage Iran to continue full and effective implementation of its nuclear-related commitments."

He added: "We deeply regret the US withdrawal and re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran."    101/ 211 /213

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