Int’l sanctions lifted as Iran complies with N-deal

17 Jan, 2016 2:40 pm


VIENNA (92 News) – Crippling sanctions against Iran were lifted in return for Tehran to comply with a deal to curb its nuclear ambitions, EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif said.

Mogherini said in a statement, that was also read in Farsi by Zarif, that the historic deal between Iran and six world powers to lift the sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for it drastically shrinking its nuclear program had gone into force. “Today we have achieved Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Ever since adoption day we worked hard and showed mutual commitment and collective will to finally bring the JCPOA to implementation.

Today almost exactly six months after the finalization of this historic deal the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has implemented its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. As Iran has fulfilled its commitments today multinational and national economic and financial sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program are lifted in accordance with the JCPOA,” both Mogherini and Zarif said, referring to the deal sealed last July.

The UN nuclear watchdog ruled on Saturday that Iran had abided by an agreement last year with six world powers to curtail its nuclear program, triggering the end of sanctions. Within minutes, the United States formally lifted banking, steel, shipping and other sanctions on Iran, a major oil producer which has been virtually shut out of international markets for the past five years.

The European Union also began the process of lifting sanctions and Iran’s transport minister said Tehran plans to buy 114 civil aircraft from European aircraft maker Airbus. “All sides remain firmly convinced that this historic deal is both strong and fair and that it meets the requirements of all. Its proper implementation will be a key contribution to improve regional and international peace, stability and security.

This achievement clearly demonstrates that with political will, perseverance and multilateral diplomacy we can solve the most difficult issues and find practical solutions that are effectively implemented. This is an encouraging and strong message that the international community must keep in mind in our efforts to make a world a safer place,” Mogherini and Zarif said.

The end of sanctions means more money and prestige for Iran as it becomes deeply embroiled in the sectarian conflicts of the Middle East, notably in the Syrian civil war where its allies are facing Sunni Muslim rebels.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that American prisoners in Iran would be on their way home shortly after being released from custody by Iran under a prisoner deal.

“I’m very happy to say that, as we speak, we have received confirmation that five Americans who had been unjustly detained in Iran have been released from custody and they should be on their way home to their families shortly,” Kerry said in a statement at the end of nuclear talks in Vienna.

The prisoner swap was choreographed to coincide with a high-level diplomatic gathering in Vienna to seal the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in return for meeting its commitment to curb its nuclear program.

Kerry also confirmed in the statement that the United States officially lifted nuclear sanctions against Iran after the International Atomic Energy Agency had verified that Iran had fully implemented its required commitments under the nuclear deal.

“After more that two and a half years of intense multilateral negotiations the International Atomic Energy Agency has now verified that Iran has honoured its commitments to alter and in fact dismantle much of its nuclear programme in compliance with the agreement that we reached last July. I want to thank the IAEA and director Amano for their significant efforts and disregard and I know he will go tomorrow to Tehran to begin the process of the full implementation,” he said.

The deal, a major step toward overcoming acrimony standing in the way of any further rapprochement between longtime foes Washington and Tehran, was the culmination of months of diplomatic contacts, secret talks and legal maneuvering.

And, according to an account pieced together by Reuters on previously unreported Obama administration deliberations, the prisoner exchange came close to falling apart because of a threat by Washington in December to impose fresh sanctions on Iran for recent ballistic missile tests.

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