EU Significantly Extends Sanctions on Iran

Posted on: 02/04/2012

New restrictive measures adopted by the EU make it increasingly difficult to do business with Iran. On 24 March 2012, the EU published Council Regulation (EU) No. 267/2012 further extending its programme of sanctions measures on Iran.  The Regulation implements several new measures that were agreed by the EU on 23 January 2012.  The measures are likely to particularly affect those involved in the Iranian oil and gas and petrochemicals industries, as well as financial transactions with Iran more generally (including the ability of all companies trading with Iran to get paid for their business involving Iran). 

The Regulation implements Council Decision 2012/35 of 23 January 2012 and introduces new restrictions on the following:

  • The import, purchase or transport of crude oil and petroleum products from Iran;
  • The import, purchase or transport of petrochemical products from Iran;
  • The supply of key equipment or technology for the petroleum industry in Iran;
  • Investment in Iranian parties engaged in the petrochemical sector;
  • The supply to or purchase from the Government of Iran of gold, diamonds and precious metals;
  • The supply of specialised financial messaging services used to exchange financial data to a number of Iranian banks designated by the EU, and
  • The delivery of new coinage or banknotes to the Central Bank of Iran.

The Regulations also makes two further significant changes to the existing EU sanctions regimes:

  1. Broadens the existing EU funds transfer controls to include not only electronic payments via financial service providers, but also funds transfers by non-electronic means such as cash, cheques and accountancy orders, and
  2. Reduces the number of encryption items that were previously excluded from the ban on exports of controlled dual-use items to Iran, meaning that it is now prohibited to export many dual-use encryption items to Iran.

The EU also adopted Council Regulation (EU) No. 264/2012 on the 24 March 2012 aimed a t protecting the human rights of Iranian civilians, and introduces a ban on the export of telecommunication monitoring equipment for use by the Iranian regime.

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