China, France, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany (P5+1) and Iran announced on 2 April 2015 that they had agreed on the parameters for a comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) relating to Iran’s nuclear programme. These parameters form a basis for a final text of the JCPOA, to be drafted by 30 June 2015, when the existing Joint Plan of Action expires. The current nuclear-related sanctions will only be suspended or withdrawn when a final agreement has been reached and the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran is meeting its obligations. If Iran does not comply with the terms of the deal, the sanctions can be reactivated. Other US sanctions on Iran – relating to terrorism, ballistic missiles and human rights – will remain in full force.

In the parameters, Iran makes a series of detailed commitments to reduce its nuclear programme. These commitments include, amongst others, reducing its uranium enrichment capacity and providing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with regular access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities for purposes of inspection and transparency.

In return, the EU and the US have agreed to release Iran from certain nuclear-related sanctions, under the condition that Iran abide by the terms of the new deal. If Iran does not comply with the terms of the deal, the sanctions can be reactivated. To cover this eventuality, the US nuclear sanctions framework will remain in place and the sanctions will merely be suspended.

In addition to the text of the parameters, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control published guidance in relation to the announcement of the new parameters on 2 April 2015.

Based on the parameters, EU and US sanctions against Iran will in any event remain in place until 30 June 2015. We will continue to inform you about any major developments in upcoming editions of In context.