Designated head of EuropeIran trade entity wont take job

BERLIN — A former senior German diplomat who was due to head a body designed to facilitate European trade with Iran has pulled out of the job after reports he defended Tehran’s ballistic missile program.Germany’s Foreign Ministry confirmed a report Thursday by daily Bild that Bernd Erbel had informed officials “that he won’t be available for personal reasons” to head the organization, called INSTEX.Bild reported that Erbel, a former ambassador to Tehran, had given interviews to a German-language YouTube channel in which he described Iran’s missile program as legal.INSTEX was created by Germany, France and Britain to co-ordinate import and export payments so European companies can do business with Iran despite U.S. pressure, and thereby convince Tehran to stick to a 2015 deal that limits its nuclear efforts.The Associated Press

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