Norway eases sanctions on Iran

'This is an important milestone for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation internationally,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende after today's announcement from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which paves the way for substantial easing of the sanctions on Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed today that Iran has met its initial commitments under the nuclear agreement that was signed last summer.

'Lifting many of the sanctions on Iran will allow the country to become more closely integrated into the international community, both politically and economically,' said Foreign Minister Brende.

After many years of hard work, an agreement was reached in summer 2015 to ensure that Iran's nuclear programme is used only for peaceful purposes.

'Implementing this agreement is a significant victory for diplomacy and a joint international effort to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, while at the same time safeguarding its right to use nuclear power for civilian purposes,' Mr Brende said.

Norway has provided NOK 14 million in extraordinary funding for monitoring and verification of Iran's compliance with its commitments by the IAEA. Additionally, in December Norway provided support for the purchase and transport of natural uranium to Iran as a replacement for enriched uranium. This was an important step in implementing the agreement.

Norway has followed up all the Security Council resolutions on Iran's nuclear programme, and has aligned itself with all EU restrictive measures against Iran for a number of years.

Today's statement by the IAEA triggers what is known as Implementation Day for the agreement, when many of the sanctions can be lifted. In addition to the UN sanctions that have now ended, Norway will align itself with the EU and lift the measures that have restricted trade and cooperation with Iran, particularly within the maritime sector, oil and gas, and banking and finance.

'We are now lifting most of our sanctions and restrictive measures against Iran in line with the nuclear agreement. At the same time, I would like to point out that our relations with Iran will still be subject to some restrictions, including the measures that have been introduced because of the human rights situation in the country,' said Mr Brende.

Prohibitions or restrictions on the export of goods and technology in certain sensitive areas will remain in force, as will special measures relating to specific Iranian individuals and companies. The embargo on exports of arms and military equipment will remain in place. The general rules on export controls on strategic goods and technology also apply to Iran.