Wednesday

17th Jul 2019

US and EU prepare to lift Iran sanctions

  • Negotiators from leading UN states and Iran clinched the deal in Vienna in July (Photo: eeas.europa.eu)

The US and the EU are slowly dismantling Iran sanctions in return for its implementation of the nuclear accord.

The White House said on Sunday (18 October) it has “directed that the heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies” are to “begin preparations … [for] relief from nuclear-related sanctions”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

It added that its “tough, principled diplomacy” created the deal, which “will result in cutting off all four pathways Iran could use to develop enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon”.

US treasury secretary Jacob Lew said the process is helping to forge “a more secure international community”.

The EU Council the same day published the legal acts which will dissolve Europe’s restrictive measures.

EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini and Iran’s foreign minister Moammed Zarif, in a joint statement, called the move “another important milestone” toward fulfilling the non-proliferation deal.

The US and EU announcemnents correspond to what diplomats call “adoption day” of the accord reached between world powers and Iran in Vienna in July.

The sanctions will be lifted on “implementation day” - the moment the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, verifies Iranian compliance, a development expected in early 2016.

The US said the Iranian measures are to include “removing thousands of centrifuges and associated infrastructure, reducing its enriched uranium stockpile from approximately 12,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms, and removing the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor and filling it with concrete”.

Senior officials from the EU institutions, China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the UK, and the US will meet in Vienna on Monday to create a new commission to monitor compliance.

The EU, in January, already suspended some sanctions on insurance and services for Iran’s oil industry, on trade in gold and precious metals, and on some types of financial transactions.

The lifting of the remaining sanctions will open up Iran’s oil and gas industries to Western investors.

But the US is to keep human-rights related measures in place.

UN-level embargoes on arms sales and ballistic missile technology will also stay in place for five to eight years.

For his part, Masoud Soltanifar, Iran’s tourism chief, at the weekend told the AP news agency the detente should lead to Iran opening its doors to more foreign visitors.

"In the post-sanctions era, tourism is an industry that will get a boost more than any other sector”, he said.

"Tourism is certainly the driving engine to get Iran's economy out of recession. Iran's tourism sector is a flourishing market for investors. We are anticipating a tsunami of tourists after sanctions are lifted".

"American tourists and investors are welcome”, he added, despite the recent sentencing of a US journalist on espionage charges.

The US and EU intitiative still faces opposition in the US.

"The Obama administration's belief that this nuclear agreement can usher in a new era of partnership is a complete misread. It's sure tough to look at Iran's actions … and think Tehran will live up to its end of the nuclear bargain”, Ed Royce, a senior congressman from the opposition Republican party said on Sunday.

But a Republican bill to stop the White House from going ahead fell by the wayside in a vote last month.

EU explores business deals in Iran

The lifting of sanctions against Iran after it complied with an international nuclear deal could open oil, gas, and industrial markets for EU companies.

EU in diplomatic push to save Iran deal

EU leaders mobilise to stop Trump's attack on Iran deal, as Congress prepares knife-edge vote with implications for trans-Atantic ties and Middle East stability.

News in Brief

  1. Ansip's ex-cabinet chief to head EU cybersecurity agency
  2. Malta starts trial of journalist murder suspects
  3. Full text of von der Leyen candidacy speech to MEPs
  4. Von der Leyen open to further Brexit delay
  5. Von der Leyen promises carbon border tax
  6. Brexit: both UK PM candidates say Irish backstop is 'dead'
  7. Mogherini: Iran's nuclear enrichment 'reversible'
  8. Report: Selmayr to leave 'next week'

Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. European Commission has first ever woman president
  2. Son: Malta trial for murdered journalist 'not enough'
  3. Von der Leyen's final appeal to secure top EU post
  4. EU talks tough on Turkey, but arms sales go on
  5. The Abortion Exodus - more Poles and Croats going abroad
  6. Poland's ex-PM loses EU parliament chair again
  7. Von der Leyen reaches out to left and liberal MEPs
  8. Farmers among new MEPs deciding on EU farming money

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us