France, Germany and the UK on 31 January unveiled their long-awaited special payments mechanism intended to facilitate non-dollar trade between Iran and Europe. The idea is that the ‘Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges’ (Instex), registered in Paris and headed by German banker Per Fisher, will enable EU companies to trade with Iran despite US sanctions.

But, at least as far as crude oil trade is concerned, it appears highly unlikely that EU companies will resume buying.

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