As widely reported, the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom (the P5+1), coordinated by the European Union’s High Representative, reached a Framework Agreement with Iran on April 2, 2015, pursuant to which the parties will work through June 2015 to craft a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under the JCPOA, the details of which remain to be negotiated, Iran will commit to taking specific actions to curtail its nuclear weapons program and capabilities, in exchange for which the P5+1 countries and the United Nations will remove certain trade sanctions against Iran.
The parties have made clear that existing trade sanctions against Iran will be relaxed only once the JCPOA is finally agreed and key nuclear commitments have been implemented by Iran and verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control made this very clear in the following guidance released on April 3, 2015:
Guidance Relating to the April 2, 2015, Announcement of Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program
The parameters announced on April 2, 2015, for a JCPOA by the P5+1 and Iran do not immediately relieve, suspend or terminate any sanctions on Iran. The only sanctions relief in force is the relief provided pursuant to the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) reached on November 24, 2013, and extended through June 30, 2015.
The parameters announced on April 2, 2015, provide a path for sanctions on Iran to be suspended and eventually terminated in exchange for IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.
As of today and until a JCPOA is concluded, other than the sanctions relief provided under the JPOA, all U.S. sanctions remain in place and will continue to be vigorously enforced.