Struan Stevenson: Europe’s Instex a “Failed Attempt at Appeasement”
Struan Stevenson, a former Scottish member of the European Parliament (MEP) and the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, penned an op-ed for UPI. The piece, entitled ‘Europe’s Instex is a failed attempt at appeasing Iranian regime’, criticizes Europe’s continued policy of appeasement towards Iran and demands a firmer approach to the Iranian regime.
You can read my new article in @UPI:
Europe's #INSTEX is a failed attempt at appeasing #Iranian regime & now seems destined to meet the same fate as Chamberlain's infamous "peace in our time."#Iran @SecPompeo @AmbJohnBolton @Maryam_Rajavi #MEK https://t.co/Zbnt6p78nS
— STRUAN (@STRUANSTEVENSON) February 15, 2019
He criticized Europeo for pursuing a “sanctions-busting policy” rather than applying pressure to the Iranian leadership. Stevenson writes, “on Jan. 31, the foreign secretaries of France, Germany and the United Kingdom shamefully announced a deal to help companies that wish to continue trading with Iran to avoid American sanctions.”
The three European nations will channel Iranian imports and exports through Instex, a platform designed to bypass US sanctions against Iran.
Tightening the Screws
Following evidence that the mullahs are breaching the terms of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under Barack Obama in 2015, President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA shortly after his election and re-introduced sanctions. The Iranian regime has cheated “on the terms of the deal, oppressing its own citizens and waging proxy wars throughout the Middle East,” Stevenson writes.
Choosing to ignore the rampant human rights abuses and financing of international militia groups and state-sponsored terrorism, the European Union has prioritized its own lucrative commercial contracts and explored methods of bypassing the US sanctions. “Instex was the result.”
Europe has had its finger burnt with policies of appeasement before. “Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to appease Adolf Hitler can attest,” Stevenson writes. Recent assassinations and foiled terror attacks on European soil have served to demonstrate how dangerous the Iranian regime is. Appeasing the regime and continuing to provide it with willing trading partners is “incomprehensible in such circumstances.”
Invoking US Ire
Europe’s decision did not please the White House. The US government warned that any company that wanted to continue trading with Iran would be excluded from US markets, forcing many companies to cut ties with Iran out of fear they would invoke the wrath of the US government.
Many EU nations declined to provide Instex with premises for its headquarters, fearing a similar fate. “Finally, France stepped into the breach, offering Paris as the Instex base,” Stevenson writes.
There are limits on what trade Instex can facilitate. The platform can only trade in goods that are not covered by US sanctions. It cannot, for example, purchase Iranian oil, which was the regime’s most lucrative export.
The editor in chief of Keyhan Daily, one of the regime’s many mouthpieces, lamented this decision. “The most humiliating aspect of Instex is that in return for our oil income we are only permitted to purchase food and medicine,” he said.
The Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the leader of Iran opposition, Maryam Rajavi are calling for an end to Europe’s dangerous policy of appeasement. They held a large rally in Warsaw last week which included high-profile speakers including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. At the rally the MEK and its supporters could be heard chanting, “appeasement no; regime change yes.”
#Iranians will gather in #Warsaw on February 13, to express their outrage over the #HumanRightsViolations in #Iran& to voice support for the #Iranian ppl's quest for Freedom. Join us at Stadion PGE Narodowy, Gate2 starting at 12:30 PM(GMT+1) #WarsawSummit #IStandWithMaryamRajavi pic.twitter.com/aGKQk5Kqjv
— Ka Veh (@kaveh20092009) February 11, 2019
Stevenson concludes, “Instex seemed, like Chamberlain’s piece of paper, to be destined for the trash can; another failed attempt at appeasement.