Iran: European Council lifts all nuclear-related economic and financial EU sanctions
European Council lifted all nuclear-related economic and financial EU sanctions against Iran. This follows verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 16 January 2016 that Iran has implemented the agreed nuclear-related measures as set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
On 14 July 2015, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, agreed the JCPOA aimed at ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme while providing for the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as EU and US sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme following an agreed sequence of actions.
The Council on 18 October 2015 adopted the legal acts providing for the lifting of these sanctions upon verification by the IAEA of the implementation of Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA.
A limited number of EU sanctions against Iran were already suspended after China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, reached an interim agreement with Iran; the Joint Plan of Action of 24 November 2013 set out an approach towards reaching a long-term comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. The lifting of all EU economic financial sanctions taken in connection with the Iranian nuclear programme will supersede this limited sanctions relief.
In a joint statement yesterday [Jan-16], EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “We have reached Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Ever since Adoption Day, we worked hard and showed mutual commitment and collective will to finally bring the JCPOA to implementation. Today, six months after finalisation of the historic deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has implemented its nuclear related commitments under the JCPOA.
As Iran has fulfilled its commitments, today, multilateral and national economic and financial sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme are lifted in accordance with the JCPOA. The EU and E3+3 countries, consisting of the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America, and Iran will also cooperate in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in the framework of the JCPOA.
UN sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme are lifted. United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), which endorsed the JCPOA, will from now onwards, together with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), be the sole international legal framework related to Iran’s nuclear activities, terminating provisions of resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2007), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1835 (2008), 1929 (2010) and 2224 (2015).
The EU has confirmed that the legal framework providing for the lifting of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions is effective. The United States today is ceasing the application of its nuclear-related statutory sanctions on Iran, including terminating relevant Executive Orders and licensing of certain activities, as specified in the JCPOA. The EU and the United States have issued relevant guidelines on the details of sanctions which have been lifted thus facilitating international engagement in Iran’s economic development. As foreseen, we will continue to thoroughly monitor and oversee the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA, exactly as agreed on 14 July 2015, through the Joint Commission, consisting of the E3+3 and Iran, and coordinated by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. On its side, the IAEA is entrusted with the responsibility for the monitoring and verification of the JCPOA as well as of Iran’s obligations as a Party to Non-Proliferation Treaty and its safeguards agreement and the provisional application of its Additional Protocol.
We would like to use this opportunity to thank the Austrian Government for their hospitality and all those countries that supported the negotiation process and helped to implement some of the commitments under the JCPOA. We also wish to express our appreciation to all those who led these negotiations on behalf of Islamic Republic of Iran and E3/EU+3 since 2003. All sides remain firmly convinced that this historic deal is both strong and fair, and that it meets the requirements of all; its proper implementation will be a key contribution to improved regional and international peace, stability and security.
This achievement clearly demonstrates that with political will, perseverance, and through multilateral diplomacy, we can solve the most difficult issues and find practical solutions that are effectively implemented. This is an encouraging and strong message that the international community must keep in mind in our efforts to make the world a safer place.”
Photo: F. Mogherini’s Twitter