New phase for implementation of Iran nuclear deal

Implementation of nuclear deal between Iran and world powers enters new phase, US officials say

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The nuclear deal was reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015

The so-called Adoption Day for the Iran nuclear agreement came on Sunday, 90 days after the deal between Iran and the world powers was approved by the United Nations Security Council on July 20, according to a clause in the agreement.

Under the terms of the Iran nuclear agreement with the six world powers (the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China), Iran accepted limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from sanctions.

According to the agreement, as of Sunday Iran has to start dismantling components of its nuclear programme to produce nuclear weapons, senior US administration officials said on Saturday.

"Iran says it can do all of this by the end of 2015, but officials think it will take longer than that," media sources said.

The US was set to issue sanctions waivers for Iran on Sunday. US President Barack Obama was to issue a memorandum to federal agencies to lift sanctions against Iran, officials said.

The US said the sanction waivers would not take effect until Iran complied with all the terms of the deal reached in Vienna on July 14. The timing of easing nuclear-related sanctions depends on the speed of Iran’s efforts enabling the UN nuclear watchdog to confirm Iran’s compliance.

Senior US officials who spoke to reporters anonymously said that the implementation of the deal is still several months away, which means sanctions against Iran are unlikely to be eased this year.

"We cannot imagine it taking less than two months," one of the US officials said.

According to the new phase, the US treasury department is supposed to issue some waivers for non-US businesses that want to do business in Iran. The waivers include banking, oil purchases and investments in certain economic sectors, officials said.

Officials also stated that US businesses would take the narrowest waivers such as some commercial aircraft sales and handcrafts.

Nuclear facility near Arak

Arak nuclear reactor

The officials said the US, China and Iran would release a joint statement on Sunday regarding the redesign and reconstruction of the Arak nuclear reactor so that it does not produce plutonium which could be used to build nuclear weapons.

The Arak nuclear reactor was one of the toughest sticking points in the two years of negotiations resulting in the July agreement.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the deal between Iran, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China as a "big test" for US-Iranian relations. He also stressed that the deal is important to create an atmosphere of trust.

The deal helped to reduce hostility between Iran and the West which has been rising for decades. The West believes that Iran aimed at building an atom bomb by means of its nuclear programme. However, Iran says its only aim is to seek peaceful atomic energy.

TRTWorld and agencies