The European Union (EU) has extended a freeze on certain sanctions imposed against Iran over the country’s nuclear program after Tehran and six world powers agreed to continue talks for seven more months.
In a statement on Tuesday, the EU’s diplomatic service said the 28-member bloc “extended until June 30, 2015, the suspension of EU restrictive measures” through a written procedure.
In their last round of talks in Vienna, Iran and the P5+1 — Russia, China, Britain, France, the US and Germany – agreed on Monday to extend their discussions for seven more months in the search for a comprehensive agreement that would end a 12-year dispute on Iran’s peaceful nuclear work. The decision came after the two sides missed the November 24 deadline, which had been set by the negotiating sides themselves.
Iran and the six countries agreed that the interim deal they signed in the Swiss city of Geneva last November will remain in place during the course of the new negotiations until July 1, 2015.
The EU’s freeze extension incorporates suspension of sanctions on oil transport insurance, trade in gold, precious metals and petrochemical products.
The bloc also raised a ceiling on financial transfers not related to remaining sanctions.
The suspensions were agreed after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday confirmed that Iran has complied with the interim agreement it reached with the P5+1 group of world powers.
Following the Geneva agreement last year, the EU on January 20 suspended part of the sanctions it imposed against Iran for a period of six months.
Iran has always shown goodwill to clear any ambiguities about its nuclear program and the country’s nuclear facilities have been under constant IAEA supervision.
The country has repeatedly said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, including generating electricity and making radioisotopes for its cancer patients.