On June 30, 2015, the P5+1, the EU, and Iran decided to extend the Joint Plan of Action (“JPOA”) for seven days in order to continue ongoing negotiations. Accordingly, both the US Government and the EU have announced that the temporary sanctions relief provided for in the JPOA would be extended through July 7, 2015. As part of this extension, all specific licenses with an expiration date of June 30, 2015 that were issued by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) pursuant to OFAC’s Second Amended Statement of Licensing Policy on Activities Related to the Safety of Iran’s Civil Aviation Industry will remain in effect through July 7, 2015.
Pursuant to the framework agreement announced on April 2, 2015, a final agreement (the so-called “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”) was to be concluded by June 30, 2015. The extension of the JPOA until July 7, 2015 provides time to reach such a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear problem. Further extensions could, however, trigger additional complications for any final agreement that is ultimately reached. Specifically, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which was enacted by the US Government on May 22, 2015, provides for the transmission of the text of any nuclear deal to the US Congress and for a congressional review period. During this review period, the President may not waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of statutory sanctions with respect to Iran or refrain from applying sanctions pursuant to an agreement reached with Iran. The Act specifies that, if a nuclear agreement is transmitted to Congress before July 10, 2015, the congressional review period will be 30 days. If such transmission occurs between July 10, 2015 and September 7, 2015, however, the congressional review period will be 60 days. Thus, to avoid an extended congressional review period, a final agreement must be completed and transmitted to the US Congress before July 10, 2015.