The European Union and the United States have announced they are lifting economic sanctions that have long isolated Iran as a long-sought deal to settle the conflict over Tehran’s nuclear program comes into effect.
EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the steps in Vienna after international nuclear inspectors said Iran had fulfilled its side of the July 2014 agreement by scaling back its nuclear activities.
“Today we have achieved Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Federica Mogherini told reporters in Vienna, referring to the deal sealed last July.
“I hereby confirm that the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has fully implemented its required commitments,” Kerry said.
The implementation of the Iran’s nuclear deal with the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China means not only that sanctions are lifted, but that Western countries will co-operate with Iran in the field of civilian nuclear technology, Mogherini says.
US President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Saturday lifting sanctions on Iran, the White House said.
Obama determined that Iran’s implementation of the pact “marks a fundamental shift in circumstances with respect to Iran’s nuclear program”, he wrote in the order, released by the White House.
The EU procedure for lifting sanctions should be rapid. An official decision of the European Council, which brings together leaders of 28 EU members, is required to finalise the process, together with a publication in the EU’s Official Journal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani congratulated the Iranian nation after implementation of the nuclear deal between Tehran and the six major powers aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions being lifted.
“Thank God for this blessing and bow to the greatness of the patient nation of Iran. Congrats on this glorious victory,” Rouhani tweeted.