Iran / P5+1 Talks Extended till November: What does it mean for sanctions?

The so-called P5+1 and Iran have decided to extend talks on Iran’s nuclear program for another four months – extending the deadline (which would have been today) till November. What this effectively means is that the sanctions relief afforded Iran is similarly going to be extended. But how will this affect the compliance and business world?

Back in November 2013, the parties entered into an interim agreement whereby in exchange for certain nuclear concessions, Iran received certain limited sanctions relief, such as the ability to procure certain spare parts for civilian aircraft, and a lifting of certain secondary sanctions, such as those on precious metals, the automotive sector, and others.  That relief was extendable, and that is what will happen now. 

How does this affect business though? While the fact that a permanent agreement was not reached does infuse some uncertainty into the business world and dealings with Iran in permissible areas, it will further serve to “detoxify” the proposition of doing business with Iran. We may see more logistical and other actors coming back onto the scene, which can help grease the wheels of legitimate trade.  In other words, it may be easier to say, export medicine than it was before, as maybe more banks will be willing to get into that field. 

Real momentous change will surely come only in the event of a complete accord with Iran. Even that will not lift all the US sanctions against Iran, as these sanction began very long before the nuclear file became the issue it is today. The question remains as to what the US will offer Iran once the final deal is reached, if it is indeed reached.

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An international trade and regulatory lawyer.

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