SHAFAQNA -Â US embargo remains in effect, prohibiting US persons from investing in Iran, or exporting most goods and services there.
It will take six to nine months to lift the sanctions on Iran onceÂ the country meets the conditions in the agreement on nuclear energy madeÂ with world powers,Â a U.S. Treasury Department official said on Wednesday.
“When theÂ Joint Comprehensive Plan of ActionÂ (JCPOA)Â goes into effect,Â there will be no immediate relief from UN, EU, or U.S. sanctions,” saidÂ Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, And Urban Affairs.
“Only if Iran fulfills the necessary nuclear conditions [of the nuclear deal]…will the U.S.Â lift sanctions. We expect that to take at least six to nine months,” he explained in an official statement. Â TheÂ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must verifyÂ compliance, and then phased sanctions relief will come into effect, the statement said.
The JCPOA effectivelyÂ closesÂ off Iranâ€™s pathways to a nuclear weapon, the official said.
On July 14, the world powers P5+1 group — the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany — reached a final nuclear agreement with Iran, which agreed to curb its nuclear research program and to open its nuclear and military facilities for IAEA inspections.
However, he pointed outÂ that the U.S.Â embargo will continue to prohibit U.S. personsÂ from investing in Iran, from importing or exporting to Iran most goods and services, and fromÂ dealing with most Iranian individualsÂ and companies.
The official saidÂ that Iranian banks will not be able to enter intoÂ relationships with U.S. financial institutions, and Iran will be denied access to importing U.S. technology andÂ goodsÂ from anywhere in the world.
“In short, Iran will continue to be denied access to the worldâ€™s principal financial and commercial market,” he said.
Szubin saidÂ that if Iran violates its commitments after sanctions are suspended, the U.S., UN, and the EU have the ability to snapback the sanctions immediately.
“For U.S. sanctions, this can be achieved rapidly,Â in a matter of days,” he said.Â “Multilateral sanctions byÂ the UN also can be reimposed quickly, and the U.S. has the ability to reimpose those sanctions unilaterally, even over the objections of other P5 members.”
Szubin said that sanctions had reduced Iranâ€™s oil exports by 60 percent.Â SzubinÂ estimated thatÂ Iran has lostÂ some $160 billion in oil revenuesÂ since 2012.
He noted that the Iranian currency has declined by more than 50 percent in value during sanctions, a factor which costÂ Iran an additional $70 billion in oil revenue.
The official expects, even with sanctions relief,Â it will take Iran until at least 2022Â to get back to where it would have been without the sanctions.