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Iran's Supreme Leader Calls EU Mechanism for Trade With Tehran 'Bitter Joke'

© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiIranian street money changer holds Iranian banknotes (File)
Iranian street money changer holds Iranian banknotes (File) - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that the European Union had essentially withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, and the trade mechanism it created to allow companies to bypass US sanctions and continue trading with Iranian entities looked like "a bitter joke."

"It's been repeated recently that Europeans have created #instex [the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges] financial channel. This is more like a joke, a bitter joke. What they're responsible to do is totally different from what they're doing. Once again, Europeans stabbed us in the back. We can't expect them anything," Khamenei said in a statement released on Twitter.

According to Khamenei, EU states, instead of showing opposition to the US decision to withdraw from the deal, in practice, have withdrawn themselves from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Euro and United States 100-dollar banknotes and Iran's rial banknotes - Sputnik International
Iran Criticises EU Trade Mechanism Aimed at Bypassing US Sanctions

The statement echoes other rhetoric previously voiced by the Iranian Supreme Leader, saying that EU signatories to the deal were deceiving Tehran.

READ MORE: Khamenei: EU Signatories of Nuclear Deal Are Deceiving Tehran

All the JCPOA signatories, which have not left the agreement after the US last year's withdrawal, agreed that a special mechanism would be established to facilitate trade between companies and Iran amid the American sanctions.

READ MORE: Iran Promises to Unveil 100+ 'Nuclear Achievements' to 'Send Message to Enemies'

The US sanctions against Tehran were reinstated last year after the United States withdrew from the JCPOA, which provided for the relief of economic sanctions against Tehran in return for Iran's pledge to keep its nuclear program peaceful. In August and November, two packages of sanctions came into effect with the aim of forcing Tehran to negotiate a new agreement.

READ MORE: US Willing to Create New Separating Lines in Middle East — Moscow

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