Iran on 19 March set up the ‘Special Trade and Financial Instrument’ (STFI) to serve as a counterparty to Europe’s special payments mechanism, the Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (Instex).

Instex was launched in Paris on 31 January to facilitate non-dollar trade between Iran and Europe and try to sidestep US sanctions (MEES, 8 February 2019). Iran has also since made some progress in meeting the EU’s demands on anti-money laundering regulations (MEES, 1 March 2019). STFI has a startup capital of IR1bn ($24,000 at the official exchange rate), and is owned by a group of Iranian state and private banks, as well as “some companies,” state news agency IRNA says. (CONTINUED - 355 WORDS)