On 24 November 2013, a joint commission of the United Kingdom ("UK"), the United States, Germany, France, Russia and China (collectively known as the "P5+1", "E3/EU+3" or "E3+3") reached agreement on a "Joint Plan of Action" with Iran, whereby Iran will comply with restrictions to its nuclear programme in return for limited relief from international trade sanctions. While seen as a significant step, the Agreement has not yet been put into effect; existing sanctions will remain in force until implementing steps are undertaken by the parties.

The "Joint Plan of Action" envisages a two-step process. The first step, with a time limit of six months renewable by mutual consent, will see both Iran and the E3+3 countries undertake various voluntary measures. The second step, still to be negotiated, is aimed at a longer-term solution which envisages the lifting of United Nations ("UN"), multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions in exchange for a comprehensive solution to the international community's concerns with Iran’s nuclear program.