Economy, Domestic Economy

EU Extends Freeze on Sanctions

EU Extends Freeze on Sanctions EU Extends Freeze on Sanctions

The European Union has extended a freeze on certain sanctions against Iran after negotiations over the country's nuclear energy program were prolonged by seven months, a press release by the Council for European Union said on Tuesday.

The move was adopted by the 28 members of the EU through a written procedure. The measure would involve a range of sanctions suspended in January.

"The Council has extended until 30 June 2015 the suspension of EU restrictive measures specified in the Joint Plan of Action agreed by E3/EU+3 and Iran on 24 November 2013. This follows the decision by the E3/EU+3 and Iran to prolong the validity of the measures of the Joint Plan of Action until that date," the press release said.

"Negotiations have been extended, so the measure is also extended," AFP said citing an unidentified source.

Suspensions included a 2012 ban on insuring and transporting Iranian crude oil that contributed to a more than 50 percent drop in Tehran's oil exports.

The EU also suspended bans on trade in gold, precious metals and petrochemical products while increasing a ceiling on financial transfers not related to remaining sanctions.

Suspensions had been agreed after the UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA said Tehran had lived up to its side of a November 2013 deal reached in Geneva.

Freeze on the sanctions was initially extended in July until Monday's deadline for international negotiations with Iran.

Iran and world powers agreed on Monday to give themselves seven more months to settle a 12-year nuclear dispute.

The extension followed an intensive five-day diplomatic push in Vienna involving the foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany along with the special EU envoy.