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Iranian sanctions framework updated. EU adopts temporary measures

  • The Joint Plan of Action (JPA) agreed to by Iran and the international community in Geneva on 24 November was activated today.

  • In response to the limits set by Iran on the development of its nuclear programme, the European Union approved a series of measures that loosen the sanctions, laid down by and in strict compliance with the Joint Plan of Action, which will remain in effect for 6 months (through 29 July 2014).

  • The following bans were suspended:
    – on insurance and reinsurance associated with the transport of Iranian crude oil;
    – on the import, purchase and transport of associated petrochemical products and financial services;
    – on trade in gold and other precious metals with the Iranian government, its public bodies and representatives and associated financial services.

  • Additionally, the threshold for the obligatory authorisation of financial transactions was raised from 40,000 to 400,000 euro.

  • There has been speculation and misunderstanding regarding the extent of the measures that loosen the sanctions against Iran. These measures are limited in scope and timeframe and, above all, maintain the sanctions architecture as it was. Indeed, the sanctions continue to be applied to a large portion of the Iranian economy: its energy, financial, navigation and ship-building sectors, and many of its banking and individual firms remain listed, and continue to banned from trade and economic and financial transactions.

  • There is no margin for misunderstanding. The sanctions remain and will remain in place until a final agreement has been reached that establishes the civilian and peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, beyond any shadow of doubt and in compliance with an international system of certification.

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