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The Iran Momentum: Hard to Slow, Hard to Control

Iranian officials are now beginning the suspension of production of 20% enriched uranium, under a six-month agreement that will give Iran increased access to funds held overseas (over $4 billion out of some $100 billion in foreign exchange assets) and lead to the easing of restrictions against the petrochemicals and auto industries.

The US and EU on Monday approved the easing of some sanctions against Iran, including the suspension of some trade and other restrictions. Canada has not followed suit, promising Israel that it would leave full sanctions in place for now. Specifically:

•    US and EU-based companies can now buy, import, insure and transport petrochemicals from Iran
•    EU-based companies can resume their trade in gold and other precious metals with Iran
•    The EU has significantly eased restrictions on money transfers for trade and remittances
•    The US will gradually unfreeze $4.2 billion in Iranian oil revenues frozen abroad
•    The EU will stop trying to push countries still buying crude from Iran to reduce purchase volumes
•    The embargo on Iranian oil remains in place
•    Trade with 500 companies believed to be connected in some way to Iran’s nuclear program remains blocked
•    More than half of Iran’s banks are still blocked from…

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