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Frequently asked questions on doing business with Iran
What does the nuclear deal agreed on 14 July 2015 mean for business?
Initially, the nuclear deal changes relatively little in terms of ability to trade. Sanctions will not be lifted immediately. Relief will be phased, and the first phase will only happen once Iran has taken the agreed actions on its nuclear programme, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that it has done so. This could take several months. But the timetable will be driven by Iran. Once IAEA-verification of Iranís actions has been completed this will trigger comprehensive economic and financial sanctions relief.
Sanctions related to nuclear proliferation will stay in place until 8 years after ĎAdoption Dayí or when the IAEA has reached the Broader Conclusion that all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities, whichever is earlier. Until the first phase of sanctions relief under the deal is triggered by Iranís actions, the targeted sanctions relief agreed under the 2013 interim deal Joint Plan of Action (JPoA) will remain (e.g. gold, petroleum etc.).
Humanitarian goods such as medicine continue to be explicitly exempt from sanctions.
2.Will HMG support trade with Iran now we have a deal?
If Iran adheres to its commitments and sanctions are rolled back, then the Government will help the business and financial sector take advantage of the opportunities that arise, and promote trade and investment between our two countries. The commercial decisions of British businesses, including whether or not to trade with Iran, are independent of government. But HMG will work to support those businesses who wish to take advantage of trade opportunities which are not the subject of sanctions, as and when they become available.
It is important to note that while sanctions remain in place, they will continue to be enforced. Even as phased sanctions relief begins, Iran will remain a challenging place to do business. Some companies will have concerns about re-engaging in Iran until confidence is rebuilt. But there will be real opportunities too, particularly in certain sectors. HMG will work to support British companies to realise opportunities that are not in breach of sanctions, as and when they become available.
On 23 August, the Foreign Secretary visited Tehran and reopened the British Embassy. The Iranian Embassy in London also reopened on the same day. The visit and the re-opening of Embassies offer an opportunity for a more normal relationship with Iran. A functioning Embassy in Tehran will be a key part of the HMGís role in supporting British business.