The E3/EU+3 have extended sanctions relief against Iran under the Joint Plan of Action for a further 3 days, until 13 July 2015. The group, comprising China, Russia, France, Germany, the UK, and the US, are involved in negotiations with Iran over a comprehensive solution to the country’s nuclear program, aimed at ensuring its purpose is strictly peaceful. This is the fifth time sanctions relief has been extended, following a 3-day extension until 10 July earlier in the week (see previous blog). Originally the deadline for reaching an agreement was 30 June.
In its press release, the Council of the EU stated that the extension was intended to allow time “to reach a long term solution”. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that “We will not rush and we will not be rushed”, but added that “If the tough decisions don’t get made, we are absolutely prepared to call an end to this”. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia is “calling for comprehensive lifting” of the sanctions “as soon as possible”.