I. Introduction -
On 20 January 2014, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed to temporarily suspend certain sanctions against Iran, namely those relating to (re)insurance and transport services for Iranian crude oil, supply of petrochemical products, and trade in gold and precious metals. The Council also eased certain restrictions on financial transactions with Iran. These suspensions entered into force for a six-month period on 20 January 2014. All other EU sanctions against Iran remain in place.
II. Background -
As explained in our previous alert, the current EU sanctions regime against Iran laid down in Council Regulation 267/20121 includes, for example, a broad oil and gas (O&G) embargo, restrictions with respect to the provision of key equipment for the O&G and petrochemical industries, and financial restrictions (such as authorisation/notification requirements for certain fund transfers).
In November 2013, the E3+3 (i.e. France, Germany, the UK, Russia, China, and the United States) agreed with Iran on a Joint Plan of Action to address concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme. As a first step (and while the parties attempt to negotiate a comprehensive solution), this Plan includes a series of renewable voluntary measures (including limitation of Iran’s uranium enrichment to 5%) to apply for six months...
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