On April 17, 2019, the Trump Administration announced several decisions that mark a significant shift in US policy toward Cuba, most notably by declaring that the United States will no longer suspend Title III of the LIBERTAD Act of 1996, which is also known as the Helms-Burton Act.Read more…
HR/VP Federica Mogherini met with the Foreign Ministers of France (Jean-Yves Le Drian), Germany (Heiko Maas), the United Kingdom (Boris Johnson) and of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Mohammad Javad Zarif) on 15 May 2018, in two separate meetings, to discuss our common lines and the work ahead of us, following the announcement made by the United States of its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal.
They recalled their commitment to the continued, full and effective implementation of the Iran nuclear deal that was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, as a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and a significant diplomatic achievement.
They, together, regretted the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and they recognised that the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions and the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran constitute essential parts of the agreement.
They stressed the commitment they all share to ensure that this will continue to be delivered and they agreed to this end to deepen their dialogue at all levels.
In particular, they undertook to launch intensive expert discussions – which have been started – with Iran, addressing the following issues with a view to arriving at practical solutions in the next few weeks:
- Maintaining and deepening economic relations with Iran;
- The continued sale of Iran’s oil and gas condensate petroleum products and petrochemicals and related transfers;
- Effective banking transactions with Iran;
- Continued sea, land, air and rail transportation relations with Iran;
- The further provision of export credit and development of special purpose vehicles in financial banking, insurance and trade areas, with the aim of facilitating economic and financial cooperation, including by offering practical support for trade and investment;
- The further development and implementation of Memoranda of Understanding and contracts between European companies and Iranian counterparts;
- Further investments in Iran;
- The protection of European Union economic operators and ensuring legal certainty; and
- Further development of a transparent, rules-based business environment in Iran.
They reaffirmed together their resolve to continue to implement the nuclear deal in all its parts, in good faith, and in a constructive atmosphere, and they agreed to continue to consult intensively at all levels and also with other remaining participants of the Joint Commission to the JCPOA.
They will also hold a Joint Commission meeting in Vienna next week at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers or Political Directors – which is the usual level at which the Joint Commission meets – and will continue to work along these lines following the good exchanges we had today, during the day and during the evening.
They also decided that EU Member States – starting with the E3 but also other Member States – will work on complementary mechanisms and measures, not only so as to go at the European Union level but also at national level to, in particular, protect the economic operators of the EU Member States. HR/VP Mogherini will also have the opportunity to also brief the Heads of State or Government of the 28 EU Member States tomorrow evening at the leaders’ dinner that we will have in Sofia. The E3 leaders will also be present and HR/VP Mogherini believes that they will also have a first exchange with the other 25 Member States.
She stressed that the implementation of the JCPOA is also on the agenda of the next Foreign Affairs Council in some 10 days from now [on 28 May 2018]. So the Foreign Ministers of all the 28 Member States will have – at the latest at that stage – the possibility of working together on common work along these and similar lines.
For more details (including Q&A with HR/VP Mogherini), please see https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/iran/44599/remarks-high-representativevice-president-federica-mogherini-press-conference-following_en
On 11 April 2017, the Council extended EU sanctions against Iran, which will now be in place until 13 April 2018. The legal acts are to be published in the Official Journal of 12 April 2017.
The sanctions have been in place since 2011, and consist of:
- a travel ban and an asset freeze against 82 people and 1 entity;
- a ban on exporting to Iran equipment which might be used for internal repression and equipment for monitoring telecommunications.
These sanctions relate to serious human rights violations and are separate to those relating to Iran’s nuclear programme, which were lifted by the Council on 16 January 2016.
A notice (please see here) updating the HM Treasury’s Consolidated List regarding three entities listed under Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012, which imposes financial sanctions against Iran, was published yesterday.
- IRISL Club
- IRISL Multimodal Transport Company
- Leading Maritime Pte Ltd
These three entities were initially listed on 26 July 2010 by virtue of being owned or controlled by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (“IRISL“). In its first Judgment, the General Court concluded that the European Council did not adduce sufficient evidence to support its reasons for listing IRISL or 17 other companies that had been listed by virtue of being entities owned or controlled by IRISL. The Court held that the Council had failed to establish that these companies provided support for nuclear proliferation, noting that the mere risk of involvement in proliferation in the future is insufficient and that there must be evidence of actual past involvement.
In its second judgment, the General Court annulled the entries of a further 35 companies. The Court noted that since it had annulled IRISL’s listing in the first Judgment (and as this Judgment had not been appealed), the Council could not maintain entries against any entity that had been listed on the sole grounds of being owned or controlled by IRISL. The annulment orders by the General Court in both cases had a retroactive effect.
There has been a delay between the annulment order and de-listing of the above entities as the order takes effect once the period for the European Council to appeal has expired (2 months and 10 days from the date of the judgments).
It is worth noting that the initial listings, undertaken in 2010, of IRISL and of the entities owned or controlled by IRISL occurred when the designation criteria required some form of support for nuclear proliferation. Later criteria have been significantly broader and IRISL and several of its subsidiaries, including IRISL Club and IRISL Multimodal Transport Company, were re-listed on new grounds in late 2013. In addition, despite being removed from the HM Treasury’s Consolidated List as per the above, both IRISL Club and IRISL Multimodal Transport Company are still listed on the UK BIS Iran List (please see here).