We previously reported on the Joint Plan of Action, under which Iran and the P5+1 or EU3+3 countries (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, UK and USA) agreed a number of measures in November 2013 towards lifting sanctions in exchange for undertakings about Iran’s nuclear programme. The sanctions provisions in the Joint Plan of Action are here.
The E3+3 and Iran have been engaged in negotiations to try reach a long term comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme and sanctions. The Joint Plan of Action was extended in July until 24 November 2014 (today). The long term solution, in which the Joint Plan of Action is supposed to be the first step, aims to result in “the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions relating to Iran’s nuclear programme” while ensuring that “Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful” and in which Iran “reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons”.
Those countries have announced today that they have failed to reach a long-term agreement after talks in Vienna, and will again extend the JPA until the end of June 2015. Reports suggest that the terms of the extension of time are that Iran will continue to see $700 million of its assets unfrozen from international bank accounts every month, in exchange for an ongoing halt to uranium enrichment beyond 5%.
All other EU sanctions and restrictions remain in place and in force. The European Union’s sanctions relating to Iran are on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog.