On 24 November 2013, a joint commission of the United Kingdom (“UK”), the United States, Germany, France, Russia and China (collectively known as the “P5+1”, “E3/EU+3” or “E3+3”) reached agreement on a “Joint Plan of Action” with Iran, whereby Iran will comply with restrictions to its nuclear programme in return for limited relief from international trade sanctions. While seen as a significant step, the Agreement has not yet been put into effect; existing sanctions will remain in force until implementing steps are undertaken by the parties.

The “Joint Plan of Action” envisages a two-step process. The first step, with a time limit of six months renewable by mutual consent, will see both Iran and the E3+3 countries undertake various voluntary measures. The second step, still to be negotiated, is aimed at a longer-term solution which envisages the lifting of United Nations (“UN”), multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions in exchange for a comprehensive solution to the international community’s concerns with Iran’s nuclear program.

For further details and commentary, please see the Reed Smith Client Alert by Matt Thomas, David Myers, Sian Fellows, Lisa Mason, Hena Schommer, Alex Allan, Sarah Rogers, Alexandra Gordon, Laith Najjar and Daniel Kyriakides.