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Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, welcomes the fact that the international economic and financial sanctions imposed on Iran due to its nuclear programme have been lifted. This has become possible after the confirmation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of 16 January 2016 that Iran has taken all key steps to downsize its nuclear programme in line with the Vienna agreement of 14 July 2015.

"I am pleased that the Iranian side has shown in the last few months that it takes the implementation of the nuclear deal agreed upon in Vienna seriously. It is only logical that the United Nations, the EU and the United States have as a consequence lifted all economic and financial sanctions that had been imposed on Iran", Minister Gabriel said.

Numerous restrictions especially in the fields of finances and energy will be revoked; these include the ban on imports of Iranian oil and the ban on exports of key equipment for the energy sector. Financial relations with Iran will be normalised; many Iranian banks can again participate in the SWIFT system. The United States has lifted its nuclear-related sanctions with extraterritorial impact, which were a great burden on European companies.

Minister Gabriel underlined: "I am aware of the fact that revitalising German-Iranian economic and in particular financial relations will take a lot of time. However, the relaxation that has now come into effect is a good basis to kick off a sustainable process. This will mark the beginning of a new chapter in German-Iranian economic relations. The 5th session of the German-Iranian Joint Economic Commission, which I will chair together with Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayebnia at the beginning of May 2016 in Tehran, is a further step in this direction."

Federal Minister Gabriel also expressed his satisfaction with the transatlantic cooperation: "During the Vienna negotiations, we worked together with the U.S. government with the aim of a parallel lifting of international sanctions so that German and other EU enterprises can make effective use of the relaxations introduced in EU law."

The countries also remained in close contact after the negotiations were concluded. The resulting handouts by the EU and the U.S. government, which make transparent both the scope of the sanctions that were lifted and the sanctions that are still in force, are also planned to be published soon.