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News, 1/27/2016

Implementation of Iran's nuclear programme deal starts

Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini is satisfied with the agreement reached on Iran's nuclear programme. The decision will increase international trade and interaction, which also contributes to peace. "It is in the interest of Finland and Europe that countries open up, do business and increase interaction."

A historic agreement was struck in the talks on Iran's nuclear programme between the so-called E3+3 (France, Germany, the UK, China, Russia and the US) and Iran on 14 July 2015. The implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) can be started now – six months after the deal was concluded – following the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) announcement on 16 January, confirming that Iran has met the commitments that are required before the implementation can be started.

In accordance with the deal, the application of the economic and financial sanctions concerning Iran's nuclear programme, imposed by the UN, the EU and the US, were suspended simultaneously.  The IAEA will play a central role in the monitoring of the implementation of the JCPOA and in the supervision of Iran's nuclear programme also in the future.

After 12 years of talks, the JCPOA can be considered a victory for international diplomacy. It is very positive that, with the deal, Iran will again play a part in the international community and trade.

Foreign Minister Timo Soini is satisfied with the agreement reached on Iran's nuclear programme.  The decision will increase international trade and interaction, which also contributes to peace.

"It is in the interest of Finland and Europe that countries open up, do business and increase interaction. That has a favourable impact on the political side of matters, too. It will be more difficult to finance and support wars."

The door to establishing political relations between Finland and Iran was opened during a foreign ministerial visit in September 2014. Discussions on economic relations were started when Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka made a visit to Iran in December 2015. In her Team Finland visit to Iran, Minister Toivakka was accompanied by representatives of nearly 70 companies. 

"Iran expressed keen interest in, for example, the cleantech and bio-economy sectors", Minister Toivakka says.

"Finnish expertise is well-known in Iran, we are appreciated, and we were very warmly welcomed there. The trade and diplomatic relations between Finland and Iran are in a good order, that is, the groundwork has been done." Companies from the IT and building and infrastructure sectors were also represented in the TF visit.

Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen will visit Iran in February to establish new trade relations. His delegation will include representatives of Finnish companies who will also participate in the Iran International Environment Exhibition.

Iran's nuclear deal was an achievement for the EU and its common foreign policy. The EU’s External Action Service played a significant role in the negotiations and the EU countries are strongly committed to the common Iran policy and sanctions.

The implementation of the JCPOA regarding Iran’s nuclear programme is an important step forward in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The deal strengthens the international treaty base concerning weapons of mass destruction and the non-proliferation treaty.

The deal has an influence on the situation in the Middle East and on the international security as a whole. In addition to limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, it is expected to strengthen peace and stability in the Middle East in the long term. This requires that the countries in the region pursue a constructive foreign policy and play a practical role in efforts to resolve their crises.

The strained relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are a cause for concern. They should seek to relax tensions and use their influence in order to find a peaceful resolution to the crises in the region.

Both countries are needed in efforts to promote the peace processes in both Syria and Yemen.

Lifting the economic and financial sanctions will open up new political and trading opportunities with Iran, even though, for example, the arms embargo will remain in force and the export of sensitive nuclear-related goods and technology, as well as the export of certain software packages, raw and semi-finished metals and graphite will be subject to a licence in the future.

Sanctions that have been issued because of the human rights situation in Iran will also remain in force.

Companies must make sure also in the future that the valid sanctions do not prohibit the export of the intended goods or require a preliminary licence and that persons or communities on the sanctions list are not involved in the transactions. Asset transfer permits and advance notifications will not be required any more. The Iranian banks that have been removed from the sanctions list can now join the SWIFT system and cooperation with them will be possible.

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Updated 1/27/2016

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