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Sanctions implications of the nuclear deal between Iran and the international community

Yesterday, an important tentative deal was agreed between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran. Below, we look at what elements of the current sanctions could potentially be suspended or lifted if final agreement is reached by the current deadline of June 30, 2015 and implementation by Iran is verified. It is important to note that all current sanctions remain in place and need to be fully complied with until they are formally suspended or lifted. Also, if Iran is found not to comply with the final agreement, the sanctions could be "snapped back" into place.

On April 2, 2015, the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany), the European Union, and Iran announced "Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("JCPOA"”) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program" (the "Parameters"). The Parameters establish a foundation for the final text of the JCPOA to be agreed upon prior to the expiration of the existing Joint Plan of Action ("JPOA") on June 30, 2015. According to the Parameters, Iran will agree to curtail its nuclear program significantly to ensure peaceful civilian use, and the time it would take for Iran to acquire material to develop a nuclear weapon would be extended from two-three months to at least one year for a duration of ten years.

In return, and upon verification that Iran is abiding by the terms of the deal, the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States have agreed to provide Iran with relief from certain nuclear-related sanctions. No sanctions will be suspended or lifted until a final agreement is concluded and Iran's performance of its obligations is verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency ("IAEA"). If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place (and the US nuclear sanctions architecture will remain in place to cover this eventuality). US sanctions on Iran relating to terrorism, human rights, and ballistic missiles, and EU sanctions on Iran relating to human rights, will continue to be fully enforced.

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