TEHRAN: Iran took a huge step on ending its international isolation on Saturday as sanctions on the Islamic Republic were lifted following the entry into force of 2015 July’s momentous nuclear deal with major powers.
The UN atomic watchdog said on Saturday that Iran has fulfilled its commitments under the nuclear deal reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015 by Tehran and six world powers.
A UN Security Council resolution endorsing the deal has terminated all provisions of previous resolutions on the Iranian nuclear issue simultaneous with the IAEA verifying Iran has implemented all the deals.
For ballistic missiles the period is eight years. A Joint Commission is to be created comprising the six powers, the European Union and Iran to handle any problems, with a majority vote needed to decide whether there has been a violation.
The same applies to US and EU nuclear related sanctions imposed on oil exports, Iran’s financial system and other areas. Restrictions on arms sales can be lifted after five years or once the IAEA gives a broad conclusion that all Iranian nuclear activities are peaceful.
Rouhani wants to bolster his position at home, where Iranians want to see concrete economic improvements while having ended the 12 year international crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will also employ high tech surveillance equipment and have access to facilities such as uranium mines and centrifuge workshops for periods of up to 25 years.
The IAEA drew a line under a long running probe into allegations of past efforts to develop a nuclear weapon in mid December, removing an important obstacle to implementing the deal.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, representing the six world powers, said that as a result multilateral and national economic and financial sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program are lifted.
The announcement also followed news of a prisoner swap between Iran and the United States in another sign of thawing relations between the two foes since the agreement was struck.
These will include sanctions on Iran’s lifeblood oil exports and open up the 80 million strong country to business. Rouhani has predicted a year of prosperity for his country.
They include slashing by two-thirds its uranium centrifuges, reducing its stockpile of uranium enough before the deal for several bombs and removing the core of the Arak reactor which could have given Iran weapons grade plutonium.
Iran has always denied wanting nuclear weapons, saying its activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes such as power generation.