On 19 April 2007, the European Council approved sanctions against Iran over its nuclear ambitions following the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 (2006). The sanctions, imposed through a Regulation which is directly applicable in all the 27 EU Member States, include prohibitions and licensing requirements for exports of certain goods and technology, which could contribute to Iran’s nuclear enrichment related activities, as well as a ban on investments and procurement of certain goods and technology. Furthermore, the EU sanctions freeze assets of certain individuals and entities linked to Iran’s nuclear proliferation activities.

Main features of the EU sanctions

  • A prohibition on selling, supplying, transferring or exporting all goods and technology contained in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Missile Technology Control Regime lists, as well as certain dual-use goods and technology produced anywhere in the world, to any person in Iran or for use in Iran1. 
  • A prohibition on technical assistance, brokering services, financing and financial assistance (including grants, loans and export credit insurance) and investment in Iran to enterprises engaged in the manufacture of prohibited goods and technology. 
  • The possibility for EU Member States to refuse to grant an authorization for any sale, supply, transfer or export of goods, if they determine that they would contribute to Iran’s enrichmentrelated, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, the development of nuclear weapon delivery system or the pursuit of activities related to topics about which the International Atomic Energy Agency has expressed concerns. Any EU Member State may annul, suspend, modify or revoke an export license previously granted.
  • The freezing of funds and economic resources owned by the 10 legal entities and 12 persons listed in the Regulation2. Assets of persons and entities not listed in the Regulation but which have been identified as being engaged in or providing support for Iran's proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, can also be frozen.

Implementation of the sanctions

The restrictive measures apply to any person inside or outside the EU territory who is a national of a Member State, any legal person, entity or body incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State and any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the EU.

Member States are in charge of laying down the rules on penalties applicable to infringement of the sanctions (e.g. fines, imprisonment, forfeiture and revocation of licenses.)