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US Extends Sanctions Relief

US Extends Sanctions Relief US Extends Sanctions Relief

The United States on Tuesday announced it would extend a freeze on certain sanctions against Iran, after talks over the country's nuclear energy program were prolonged by seven months.

An intensive five-day diplomatic push in the Austrian capital Vienna involving the foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany came to an end on Nov. 24 – set as a self-imposed deadline – with both sides agreeing to extend the nuclear talks for seven months, that is until July 2015.

The extension in talks would allow the negotiators to narrow down their remaining differences in order to reach a "comprehensive" deal after an interim agreement called Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) was reached in November 24, 2013 in Geneva. If a final deal is reached, all US, EU, and UN sanctions against Tehran will be lifted in exchange for Iran limiting parts of its nuclear program.

One day after the latest round of negotiations ended, the US departments of treasury and sate jointly released a guidance "relating to the provision of certain temporary sanctions relief in order to implement the Joint Plan of Action reached on November 24, 2013, between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran, as extended through June 30, 2015."

In November 2013, the P5+1 "committed to provide Iran with limited, targeted, and reversible sanctions relief" in return for Iran’s commitment to place limits on its nuclear energy program, according to the guidance.

 In furtherance of the US government’s commitments under the JPOA, the US Department of State and the US Department of the Treasury implemented sanctions relief relating to certain activities and associated services taking place exclusively during the six-month period beginning on January 20, 2014, and ending July 20, 2014.

"The JPOA was renewed by mutual consent of the P5+1 and Iran on July 19, 2014, and November 24, 2014, extending the temporary sanctions relief provided under the JPOA to allow the P5+1 and Iran to continue to negotiate a long-term comprehensive solution to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful," the guidance said.

During the period beginning on January 20, 2014, and ending on June 30, 2015 (JPOA Relief Period), the sanctions relief the US government committed to during the JPOA will be implemented.

The US sanctions so far imposed against Iran's economy include those related to export of petrochemical products, auto industry, gold and other precious metals, civil aviation, export of crude oil, and trade transactions.

The European Union has also extended a freeze on certain sanctions against Iran after the nuclear talks were further extended.

The EU on Tuesday extended until 30 June 2015 the suspension of EU restrictive measures specified in the JPOA.

Caption: In November 2013, the P5+1 committed to provide Iran with limited, targeted, and reversible sanctions relief in return for Iran’s commitment to place limits on its nuclear energy program.

 

Financialtribune.com