Companies are allowed to trade with Iran under certain conditions. For those clients for whom trade is legitimate today - in particular in relation to medical goods, pharmaceuticals, humanitarian matters, food and agriculture - they will continue to face the commercial challenges of actually getting paid.
Amendments to the EU Sanctions on Iran (Council Regulation 2014/42/EU) where announced in Jan this year which means some sanctions were suspended for a period of 6 months (until 20th July 2014). The amendments also increase the authorisation thresholds in relations to the transfers of funds to and from Iran
The revised sanctions also include increases of the authorisation thresholds in relations to the transfers of funds to and from Iran. See HM Treasury Financial Sanctions Notice 210114. The vast majority of prohibitions contained in Regulation 267/2012 (as amended by Regulation 1263/2012) remain, in particular, prohibitions against the provision of insurance to certain Iranian persons, entities or bodies, the supply of key equipment and technology in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors and prohibitions on dealings in aluminum, graphite, certain semi-finished metals and natural gas.
Iranian banks are no closer to dealing directly with EU banks and the asset freeze remains. The reality is that the easing of EU offers little real benefit today to most of our clients.
EU banks are permitted to be involved in those legitimate transactions but choose not to. Until there is a change of heart by the EU banks to agree to do something they are in fact permitted to do, any relaxation in EU sanctions will have little real impact on the ground. It is suspected that the EU banks are afraid to incur the wrath of the USA, though the USA stance on Iran is also softening.