One year after the conclusion of the landmark deal on Iran’s nuclear programme agreed in Vienna, the European Union is pleased to note that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is being implemented. This demonstrates that with political will, perseverance and multilateral diplomacy, workable solutions can be found to the most difficult problems.
The European Union will continue to actively support the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA throughout the lifetime of the agreement, as well as the UNSC Resolution 2231. The EU and its Member States underline the need for Iran to strictly adhere to all its commitments under the JCPOA and to continue to cooperate fully and in a timely manner with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They also call upon Iran to refrain from activities that are inconsistent with UNSC Resolution 2231. The European Union confirms the support to the High Representative’s coordinating role of the Joint Commission foreseen under the agreement and calls for assistance to the IAEA in its responsibility to monitor and verify Iran’s nuclear-related commitments. The upholding of commitments by all sides is a necessary condition to rebuild trust and allow for steady and gradual improvement in relations between the European Union, its Member States and Iran as stated by the July 2015 Foreign Affairs Council.
The European Union notes that its sanctions-related commitments under the JCPOA have been fulfilled in accordance with the agreed implementation plan. On Implementation Day (16 January 2016), when the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran had implemented its nuclear-related commitments, economic and financial nuclear-related sanctions were lifted. On the same day, a comprehensive Information Note on the lifting of sanctions was issued in order to provide clarity to EU business operators on the new regulatory environment. It is in the interest of the European Union that the lifting of economic and financial nuclear-related sanctions delivers benefits to the Iranian people.
The European Union acknowledges that clarity regarding the lifting of sanctions is key to allow a full reengagement of European banks and businesses in Iran. In this context it notes the extensive guidance that was provided on the scope of sanctions lifted and those that remain in place. The EU is committed to continue actively engaging with the private sector and encourages all parties to the JCPOA to continue their outreach efforts in this regard. For Iran to fully benefit from the lifting of sanctions, it is also important that it overcomes obstacles related to economic and fiscal policy, business environment and rule of law. The European Union and its Member States stand ready to cooperate with Iran in these areas and to provide technical assistance, including on compliance with FATF requirements, and to consider the use of export credits to facilitate trade, project financing, and investment.
The European Union reaffirms its commitment to further developing relations with Iran, in particular in areas such as trade, energy, human rights, civil nuclear cooperation, migration, environment, fight against transnational threats such as drugs, humanitarian cooperation, transport, research, education, culture and regional issues. In this regard it takes note of the final joint statement from the visit to Tehran of the High Representative with a group of Commissioners. The European Union supports a strategy of gradual engagement that is comprehensive in scope, cooperative where there is mutual interest, critical when there are differences and constructive in practice. As part of that, the European Union intends to open an EU Delegation in Iran.
The JCPOA is for the benefit of the entire region and creates the opportunity for improved regional cooperation that should be seized by all parties. The European Union calls on all parties to work towards a cooperative regional environment and to help reduce tensions. The EU reaffirms its commitment to help make an improved regional situation a reality.