Overview of Sanctions Relief in Nuclear Deal with Iran

On July 20, 2015, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted resolution 2231 endorsing the final nuclear deal agreed between the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (US), plus Germany), the European Union (EU), and Iran. The deal includes commitments to suspend or lift certain UN, US, and EU sanctions targeting Iran. We describe below these commitments and the anticipated timeline for sanctions relief.

On July 14, 2015, the P5+1, the EU, and Iran announced the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program. In the JCPOA, Iran agrees to curtail its nuclear program significantly to ensure peaceful civilian use and reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons. In return, and upon verification that Iran is abiding by the terms of the deal, the UN, the EU, and the US agree to provide Iran with relief from certain nuclear-related sanctions. This relief is outlined in a step-by-step approach based on the fundamental premise that no sanctions will be suspended or lifted until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies that Iran has implemented certain agreed nuclear-related measures, including in relation to transparency and IAEA monitoring. Timing of the initial implementation of the JCPOA is uncertain, but could take up to six months or longer. As a first step, the UNSC adopted resolution 2231.

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