September 2, 2015
Today, the agreement between the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States) with the Islamic Republic of Iran to ease sanctions on the country in exchange for limitations on its nuclear program, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("JCPOA"), took a major political step closer to being realized and implemented in the United States.
Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland announced today that she would back the agreement, bringing the total number of Senators supporting the deal up to 34, the minimum number needed to sustain a Presidential veto of a resolution in Congress aimed at blocking the JPCOA, should such an override be required. Proponents of the JCPOA would prefer to increase the number of supporters further before the vote is called (expected to occur in mid-September), as this could prevent the resolution from passing at all. But Sen. Mikulski’s support today largely clears the way for the JCPOA ultimately to come to fruition in the United States.
While this is an important political development, there are, as of yet, no changes on the ground. The JCPOA must still formally pass through Congress, and the first round of sanctions relief, set to occur on "Implementation Day" as set forth in the terms of the JCPOA, is not expected until early- to mid-2016.
For further background on the JCPOA, please see our July 14, 2015 client alert, "Landmark Nuclear Agreement with Iran Reached."
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