Switzerland retains measures linked to Iran's nuclear programme

Bern, 18.10.2023 - On 18 October, certain UN sanctions relating to nuclear proliferation in Iran will automatically expire. In view of Iran's failure to comply with the nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA), the Federal Council has decided to maintain the Swiss measures currently in force.

On 18 October, the eighth anniversary of the entry into force of the JCPOA, the restrictions on nuclear weapon delivery systems and financial restrictions under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015) automatically expire. Due to Iran's non-compliance with the JCPOA, however, the EU has decided to keep these measures in place and, to do so, included the individuals and entities previously sanctioned by the UN in its own sanctions regime. On 18 October, the Federal Council took the decision, in line with that of the EU, to maintain the existing legal framework.

The Federal Council's decision follows developments in Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programmes and reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In recent years, the IAEA has repeatedly found that Iran has failed to implement the verification and control measures provided for in the JCPOA. As a result, the IAEA cannot confirm the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme. Switzerland has regularly called on Iran to return to full implementation of its obligations under the JCPOA. Switzerland has also repeatedly expressed its concern about the withdrawal from the JCPOA and the reintroduction of sanctions by the United States.

On 17 January 2016, with the implementation of the JCPOA signed between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, the UK, Russia, the USA and Germany), the Federal Council lifted a large part of the sanctions relating to nuclear proliferation in Iran, in line with UN and EU decisions. Certain restrictions remained in force, however, in application of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015) or in alignment with EU measures. These include restrictions on trade in and provision of services relating to delivery systems and military equipment, as well as restrictions on trade in nuclear goods. Financial sanctions have also been maintained for a limited number of individuals and companies.

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