Referring to the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) set up by the UK, France and Germany, a senior U.S. official argued that while "the E3 proclaimed that this vehicle will function under the highest anti-money laundering standards and EU and UN sanctions compliance... I can tell you that if they are dealing with the Central Bank of Iran or other elements of the Iranian regime, that is not possible". She went on to assess that "Iran has zero financial transparency", advising Europe to "take heed to remember with whom it is dealing, how the Iranians operate to skirt the international financial system and the basic standards of behaviour they refuse to live by". "In the meantime", she concluded, "those that engage in activities that run afoul of U.S. sanctions risk severe consequences, including losing access to the U.S. financial system and the ability to do business with the U.S.".
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