On 31 March 2020, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (“FCO“) announced that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) had successfully concluded its first transaction.

This transaction involved the successful export of medical goods from Europe to Iran, and paves the way for future transactions. In its announcement, the FCO stated: “Now the first transaction is complete, INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI [(Special Trade and Finance Instrument)] will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism.”

INSTEX was established in January 2019 to allow European and Iranian entities to continue trading, in spite of increasing US pressure on Iran. So far, 9 European nations have signed up as shareholders of INSTEX: the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

This announcement comes just over a month after the JCPOA Joint Commission noted their support of INSTEX.