Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has expressed hope that the EU would begin easing sanctions imposed against Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program in January.
“I would hope we would see the lifting of the sanctions in January. I see no reason against it,” Bildt told Reuters on Saturday.
At the beginning of 2012, the European Union placed a ban on Iranian oil and petrochemicals exports, the trade of precious metals, and transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, freezing its assets across the bloc. The measures came into effect as of July 1, 2012.
On November 24, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany reached an interim deal aimed at laying the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.
In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet – Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany – agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said on November 27 that “there is at the moment a proposal for the easing of a limited number of sanctions.”
Mann said the EU experts should prepare the draft amendment to the sanctions legislation that must be endorsed by the EU foreign ministers later, adding that, “I cannot say at this point exactly when the initial decisions on this would happen – it could be in December, it could be in January.”
Reuters reported on Saturday that EU foreign ministers would meet next week to discuss a proposal from Ashton to ease sanctions imposed against Iran.
By Press TV
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