After the US withdrew from the JCPOA, it threatened criminal and/or financial action against entities which trade with Iran (with some limited exemptions). This made the SWIFT society drop Iranian banks from its systems, which halted a lot (most?) of Iran's international trade (and non-trade financial activities).
The EU and/or its members have taken at least two measures in response to this situation and with a view not to effectively acquiesce to the US sanctions and keep their end of the JCPOA: A renewal of the 1996 blocking statute, and more recently, the INSTEX - Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange.
How does INSTEX (supposedly) work? Is it supposed to be a SWIFT-like mechanism for transferring money between bank accounts? (Not that I know how SWIFT works)? And if INSTEX is like SWIFT, why is DW claiming that
The European side intends to use the channel initially only to sell food, medicine and medical devices in Iran.
? Shouldn't INSTEX be usable for just any transfer?