The Council decided to take the necessary steps to maintain restrictive measures under the EU non-proliferation regime against Iran.

The Council assessed that there are valid reasons not to lift these restrictions on the snapshot date (18 October 2023), as originally provided for in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The Council’s decision is in line with the provisions of UNSCR 2231 and the JCPoA, given Iran’s non-compliance with its obligations under the JCPoA, as reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency since 2019.

The Council adopted legal acts to maintain the designations originally imposed by the United Nations on individuals and entities involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities or affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The Council also agreed to maintain existing sectoral and individual measures under the EU’s sanctions regime, in particular those related to Iran’s nuclear proliferation and the arms and missile embargoes.

These steps do not amount to the imposition of additional EU sanctions on Iran. Moreover, all EU sanctions already lifted under the JCPoA will remain in place.

This decision is in line with the EU’s commitment to the full implementation of the JCPoA, as expressed in the Council conclusions of December. The decision follows the letter received on 14 September 2023 by the High Representative, as Coordinator of the Joint Commission of the JCPoA, from the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in the framework of the JCPoA Dispute Settlement Mechanism, which they initiated in January 2020. The ministers said they were prepared to reverse their decision if Iran fully implemented its JCPoA commitments.

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