Japan on 22 January 2016 lifted sanctions on Iran, falling in line with major world powers. The announcement was made by Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
The sanctions were lifted after the United Nations atomic energy agency confirmed on 16 January 2016 that Tehran has fully taken steps to curb its disputed nuclear programme.
The move will allow Japanese companies to pursue investment in Iran's oil and gas industry.
Tokyo imported around 10 percent of Iran’s oil before introducing sanctions against Tehran. After the sanctions, this share fell to 5 percent and then reduced even further.
An investment agreement between Tehran and Tokyo is expected to be signed soon.
How the lifting up of sanctions will help Iran?
• Iran emerged from years of economic isolation when the U.S. and other countries lifted crippling sanctions against the Islamic republic.
• Tens of billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets are now unfrozen and global companies that have been barred from doing business there will be able to exploit a market for everything.
• With the lifting of the sanctions, Japanese insurance companies will be able to issue policies covering trade deals involving Iran.
• Japanese business will also be able make new investments in Iran's oil and gas sector.
• Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the United States imposed sanctions against Iran and expanded them in 1995 to include firms dealing with the Iranian government.
• In 2006, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1696 and imposed sanctions after Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
• Over the years, sanctions have taken a serious toll on Iran's economy and people.
• Since 1979, the United States has led international efforts to use sanctions to influence Iran's policies, including Iran's uranium enrichment program.
• When nuclear talks between Iran and Western governments were stalled and seen as a failure, they were cited as a reason to enforce stronger economic sanctions on Iran.
• On 2 April 2015, the P5+1 and Iran, meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, reached a provisional agreement on a framework that, once finalized and implemented, would lift most of the sanctions in exchange for limits on Iran's nuclear programs extending for at least ten years.
• As a result, UN sanctions were lifted on 16 January 2016.
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