U.S. ambassador slams Norway for praising bypass of Iran sanctions

Affects: United States ;

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell on Friday savaged the Norwegian ambassador to Iran Lars Nordrum for lauding a European system to circumvent American sanctions targeting Tehran for its illicit nuclear activities and terrorism.

“Terrible timing – why fund the Iranian regime while it’s killing the Iranian people and shutting off the Internet?” tweeted Grenell, the most high-profile US ambassador in Europe. “You should be standing for human rights not funding the abusers.”

The UK-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in November that at least 143 protesters were killed in Iran during demonstrations against the regime due to gas price increases and opposition to the clerical regime system.

Nordrum tweeted that “We join INSTEX with the E3 to facilitate trade with Iran and preserve the JCPOA.”

The JCPOA is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal that is supposed to curb Tehran’s nuclear weapons ambitions in exchange for sanctions release.
INSTEX is an abbreviation for the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, a European special-purpose vehicle (SPV) launched in January to circumvent US sanctions imposed on Iran. The US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 because, the Trump administration said, the agreement does not stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and ballistic missiles, or its use of terrorism.

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden joined on Friday the United Kingdom, France and Germany as partners in INSTEX.

In a joint statement, which was posted on the Norwegian government’s website, the nations wrote: “In light of the continuous European support for the agreement and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges subject to completion of national procedures. INSTEX was established by France, Germany and the United Kingdom in January 2019.”

The statement added that “In this context, it is crucial for the Islamic Republic of Iran to return without delay to full compliance with the terms and provisions of the nuclear agreement.”
Nordrum’s tweet lauding INSTEX electrified Twitter with criticism of the ambassador’s push for business with Iran’s regime at the expense of human rights.

Mina Bai, an Iranian-Norwegian author who writes about the Middle East, tweeted: “I write for the Norwegian newspaper Nettavisen. The Norwegian ambassador Lars Nordrum in Tehran announces happily today a joint declaration w/t some European countries to start INSTEX. He is very keen on pursuing this. He blocked me. US authorities must be notified.”

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) also took to Twitter to slam the Norwegian ambassador and the new European partners of INSTEX, writing:

“The Iranian regime continues not only to violate the flawed nuclear deal, but also to violently suppress & murder protesters in Iran. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway & Sweden should stand w/ Iranian ppl rather than maneuver to do business w/ this terrorist regime.”
Iranian dissidents sent screenshots to The Jerusalem Post showing that the Norwegian ambassador blocked them on Twitter because, they said, of complaints about his pro-Iranian regime views.

Source » jpost

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