Q. Does France – either as a country or as an EU member – already impose sanctions against Iran? If so, how many sanctions are there and which authorities or sectors of the Iranian economy are they targeted against?
A. As the minister reaffirmed yesterday in his joint statement together with his German and British counterparts on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, “the E3 have fully upheld their JCPOA commitments, including sanctions-lifting as foreseen under the terms of the agreement.” Indeed, I want to remind you that on January 16, 2016, the EU lifted all sanctions imposed by the Security Council on the one hand as well as those that had been adopted at the European level on the other. As a result, no sector of the Iranian economy is subject to sanctions imposed by the EU or its member states.
In order to help preserve the JCPOA, the EU and the E3 have undertaken additional and voluntary efforts, notably through the creation of the INSTEX special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran.
I also want to remind you that under the Common Foreign and Security Policy and in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions, notably resolution 2231 (2015) concerning Iran, the EU nevertheless continues to enforce restrictive measures against entities and individuals in relation to several areas:
- the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially in the nuclear and ballistic missile field since 2010.
- human rights violations: Since 2011, the EU has adopted restrictive measures (freezing of assets and visa bans) against individuals and entities responsible for serious human rights violations. The EU also prohibits the export to Iran of equipment which might be used for internal repression as well as equipment for monitoring telecommunications. Since then, these measures have been extended on an annual basis. On April 8, 2019, the Council extended these measures until April 13, 2020.
- the fight against terrorism: The Directorate for Internal Security of the Iranian Ministry for Intelligence and several of its members have therefore been included in the EU counter-terrorist sanctions regime since January 8, 2019.