Financial sanctions, Iran (nuclear proliferation)

Iran is currently subject to financial sanctions. This document contains the current list of designated persons relating to proliferation sensitive nuclear activities.


In 2006, the UN Security Council imposed, amongst other matters, asset freeze restrictions on persons determined by the UN as engaging in, directly associating with, or providing support for, Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.

Between 2007 and 2012, the European Commission implemented further measures. In summary, the measures now in place involve the freezing of funds and economic resources of designated persons; restrictions on transfers of funds to and from an Iranian person, entity or body; vigilance over activities with Iranian banks; dealing with the Iranian banking sector; restrictions on Iran’s access to the EU’s insurance and reinsurance markets, restrictions on the provision of insurance and restrictions on financing certain Iranian enterprises and prohibitions on EU credit and financial institutions transferring funds to or from Iranian banks.

14 July 2015 – limited sanctions relief remains in place until 14 January 2016

On 14 July 2015, The E3+3 (UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and US) the EU and Iran reached a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. The successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme and provide for the lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions.

On the 14 July 2015, The E3+3, supported by the EU, agreed with Iran to extend the implementation of the measures of the Joint Plan of Action to allow for the necessary arrangements and preparations for the implementation of the JCPoA. The suspension of the restrictive measures specified in the Joint Plan of Action is therefore extended until 14 January 2016 under EU Council Decision 2015/1148. Relevant contracts would have to be executed within that date.

In practice this means sanctions against Iran in EU Regulation 267/2012 (as amended), including the current thresholds for prior notification or prior notification of Iran transfers are unchanged. This guidance remains in force.

Current financial sanctions remain in force. Read more about future sanctions policy

Iran (nuclear proliferation) – Supreme Court judgement in Bank Mellat v. Her Majesty’s Treasury (No. 2)

Judgement was handed down on 19 June 2013 in relation to Bank Mellat’s challenge to the Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2009 (SI 2009/2725). The Supreme Court found in favour of Bank Mellat. The Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2009 ceased to have effect in October 2010.

The Judgement does not affect the current EU asset freeze which remains in place against Bank Mellat. Banks and other financial institutions must continue to abide by the EU measure, and must apply all the financial restrictions that are imposed under EU Regulation 267/2012 as amended by EU Regulation 1263/2012.

Current EU regulations

Current UK regulations

Licence applications

You are able to download specific forms for licence applications and prior notification and authorisation applications for Iran. Licences authorise certain activities or types of transaction that would otherwise be prohibited by asset freezing legislation.