Kerry says Iran nuclear deal implementation only “days away”

US Secretary of State John Kerry says that implementation of Iran nuclear deal is only “days away”

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC on January 7, 2016

The United States Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that the implementation of Iran nuclear deal signed with six world powers was only days away, deal will allow tens of billions of dollars in sanctions against Iran to be lifted.

The date of “implementation day” of so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed on July 14 in which Tehran agreed to curb back its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief has not been decided yet.

Kerry pointed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action "from which we are days away from implementation, if all goes well," outlining foreign policy of the past year.

Kerry said he discussed the implementation with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a phone call on Thursday adding that they also talked about escalated tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia due to the execution of a Shiite Muslim cleric.

"The foreign minister made it clear to me they intend to complete their obligations with respect to implementation day as rapidly as possible," Kerry told reporters.

"We are currently engaged ourselves in making certain that we're prepared to move on that day. And I think it could come -- without being specific -- sooner rather than later," he added.

Kerry said the United States would continue to ensure that Iran lives up to its commitments under the nuclear deal and press for the release of American prisoners "that have been unjustly detained" by Iran.

Top Iranian officials rejected speculation that Iran was considering a prisoner exchange with the US.

Among Americans held by Iran is journalist Jason Rezaian who was arrested in July 2014. Others are Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati, a former sergeant in the US Marine Corps and Robert Levinson, a private investigator, who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

Iran claims that the US held some 16 Iranians for ignoring sanctions and about 60 for other crimes.

TRTWorld and agencies