On 24 November 2014, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, supported by the EU coordinator and negotiator for the E3/EU+3 group in the Iran nuclear negotiations, agreed with Iran to extend the implementation of the measures of the Joint Plan of Action until 30 June 2015. This has led to the enactment of a new Council Decision 2017/829/CFSP of 25 November 2014.

The extension period to 30 June 2015 applies to the following restrictive measures that have been suspended since 20 January 2014 (see our previous newsletter):

  • The prohibition on the provision of insurance and reinsurance and transport of Iranian crude oil

It is allowed to transport and export petroleum oil and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (i.e. crude oil), falling under HS heading 2709 00, from Iran to any other third country. In addition, it is allowed to provide insurance and re-insurance related to the import, purchase or transport of the aforementioned crude oil.

  • The prohibition on the import, purchase or transport of Iranian petrochemical products and on the provision of related services

It is allowed to import into the EU, purchase or transport petrochemical products that originate or are located in or have been exported from Iran. In relation thereto, it is also permitted to make available vessels as well as related services such as financing, financial assistance, insurance and re-insurance.

Furthermore, the competent authorities of the EU Member States may authorise the release or the making available of funds or economic resources to the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum (being a listed designated Iranian entity), if this is deemed necessary for the execution of contracts for the import or purchase of petrochemical products originating in or imported from Iran.

  • The prohibition on trade in gold and precious metals

It is also permitted to sell, supply, transfer or export, gold and precious metals (excluding diamonds) with the Iranian government, its public bodies and the Central Bank of Iran.

The new Council Decision reaffirms the thresholds for authorising certain transfers of funds to and from Iran in order to ease legitimate trade with Iran.

In addition, the new Council Decision emphasises that any relevant contracts being concluded falling under the scope of the sanctions relief will have to be executed until 30 June 2015. The new Council Decision has taken effect as of 25 November 2014.

For the sake of clarity it is important to stress that the new Council Decision does not include the suspension of prohibitions and controls on (among others) the supply of petrochemical goods and technology to Iran, the supply of dual use goods and technology to Iran and dealings with designated parties.