The delivery comes as Tehran announces more deaths from Covid-19 and a total of 44,606 cases

Coronavirus: France, Germany and UK begin exporting medical gear to Iran

France, Germany and the United Kingdom have delivered medical gear to Iran to help fight coronavirus there, in the first transaction conducted under the Instex trading mechanism, the German government said on Tuesday. 

The delivery comes as Iran grapples with one of the worst outbreaks of the novel coronavirus globally, announcing on Tuesday a death toll of 2,898 people and a total of 44,606 infections. 

"In the past 24 hours, there have been 3,111 new cases of infected people. Unfortunately, 3,703 of the infected people are in a critical condition," health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a TV statement. 

The Instex trading mechanism was created by the three European countries following Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, with the purpose of evading US sanctions on Tehran. 

Last week, the US imposed a new set of sanctions against Iran, despite pleas from key members of Congress and world powers that Washington ease its unilateral sanctions, as Iran struggles to cope with the rapidly spreading virus. 

The European Union announced in June that the mechanism, known as “the special purpose vehicle”, had come into effect. 

Instex allows all EU member states to conduct small trade with Iran, particularly with humanitarian products.

The mechanism allows European and Iranian companies to send and receive money within their borders, thus allowing the flow of commodities while avoiding overseas financial transactions that could be affected by US sanctions.

In April, Iran established the Special Trade and Finance Institute as its equivalent to Instex. 

On Tuesday, the German foreign ministry said that a first export of medical goods had been delivered, adding that the trade mechanism will allow more transactions with Iran in the future.

"Now that the first transaction is complete, Instex and its Iranian counterpart STFI will work on more transactions and enhance the mechanism," the German government said.

Britain, France and Germany were among countries that sent Iran medical aid earlier this month. 

US sanctions have complicated Iran’s efforts to contain the epidemic, which has killed over 38,000 people around the world.



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