The legal preparations by the EU & US are the precursor for sanctions to be lifted on "Implementation Day", when IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) confirms that Iran has met its commitments to the nuclear agreement.
In Brussels, the EU passed legal acts setting out the changes to its existing anti-proliferation sanctions on Iran that it will be required to make, along with the people and entities who will be de-listed, on Implementation Day. In a joint Statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif the importance of 'Adoption Day' was not lost, 'This is as another important milestone that brings us a step closer to the beginning of implementation of the JCPOA, to which we are strongly committed."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, President Obama instructed agencies to make ready for the lifting of US sanctions. In a White House statement, President Obama commented, "Today marks an important milestone toward preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and ensuring its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful going forward." In addition, the Secretary of State issued contingent waivers of certain statutory sanctions provisions.
Whilst the legal acts don't herald an immediate lifting of sanctions, they do provide the legislative framework for lifting of nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions as soon as Iran implements the terms of the deal.
For businesses the opportunities emerging from the lifting of sanctions are fast approaching. However, organisations that are exploring new business opportunities with Iran may still face issues. Even with the lifting of restrictions on trade, there will be local market challenges such as bribery & corruption, with the country being ranked 136/175 in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2014. The importance of a proactive and effective third-party due diligence programme remains critical for businesses looking to develop operations in the country.
The LexisNexis ebook 'Sanctions Uncovered – Iran Special' outlines some of the issues concerning the potential lifting of sanctions in Iran and what this will mean for businesses that wish to trade in the country but still need to remain compliant with global trade restrictions. The ebook provides information on the business opportunity afforded in Iran, a checklist of good practice around complying with international regulation when trading overseas, particularly in high risk territories and examples of some of the high profile companies that have fallen foul of sanctions legislation in the past. The ebook can be downloaded below.
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