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The conclusion and implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has opened the way for a renewal of broader relations. This renewed gradual engagement between the EU and Iran takes place on the basis of the full and continued implementation of the JCPOA by Iran and the other parties. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regularly verifies Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.
The overarching agreed joint objectives of EU-Iran relations are:
In the follow-up to the Joint Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President of the European Union, Federica Mogherini and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif from 16 April 2016, a number of high-level visits and exchanges have advanced EU-Iran cooperation in a variety of areas and sectors, ranging from economic, trade and investment talks, to education and science cooperation, environment and climate change’ expert exchanges and discussions on humanitarian and human rights issues.
A High Level Dialogue led on the EU side by EEAS Secretary General Helga Schmid and on the Iranian side by deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi takes place twice a year to discuss progress.
The lifting of sanctions in line with the JCPOA has facilitated trade and economic relations. In 2016 - the first fiscal year after the JCPOA implementation - EU imports from Iran reached 5.5 billion EUR, representing an increase of 344,8% and EU exports amounted to 8.2 billion EUR, an increase of 27,8%. In 2017 EU imports from Iran went beyond 10.1 billion EUR and exports to Iran peaked at 10.8 billion EUR.
European investments in Iran are visible in several sectors including energy, automotive and transport and according to the IMF real GDP growth in Iran is expected to reach 4.3 percent in 2017/18.
The European Union actively supports Iran's integration in the world economy and its membership of the World Trade Organization.
Sanctions imposed by the EU in view of the human rights situation in Iran, support for terrorism and other grounds are not part of the nuclear agreement and remain in place.
In Iran, the EU is currently represented by the Embassy of Bulgaria. The Iranian Embassy in Belgium is accredited to the EU.