Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement confirming the IAEA has verified that Iran “has fully implemented its required commitments.”
“Iran has undertaken significant steps that many, and I do mean many, people doubted would ever come to pass. And that should be recognized, even though the full measure of this achievement can only be realized by assuring continued full compliance in the coming years,” Kerry said.
Kerry called the world a safer place because of the developments.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond echoed Kerry’s comment, saying the deal “makes the Middle East and the wider world a safer place.” He added that Iran’s nuclear program has been substantially rolled back.
President Hassan Rouhani welcomed the IAEA announcement. In an address to parliament Sunday morning, he said all the parties involved are satisfied with the deal “with the exception of Zionists and warmongers … American hardliners and extremists.”
Israel was not one of the nations applauding the deal.
“Today, a country that threatens the existence of Israel, denies the Holocaust, destabilizes the Middle East, subjugates its own people and supports terror across the globe is being strengthened by the international community,” said Yair Lapid, a member of the Knesset. “The lifting of sanctions strengthens Hezbollah, it strengthens (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad, it strengthens terrorists across the region who benefit from Iranian support.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is monitoring Iran and will report any violation of the nuclear agreement. Iran has not given up on its ambition to acquire a nuclear weapon, he said.
The IAEA — the U.N. nuclear watchdog organization — released its report assessing Iran’s compliance with an agreement with foreign powers, including the United States and the European Union.
Many observers expected the IAEA would corroborate Iranian compliance.
The release heralds “Implementation Day,” the formal name for the start of the next phase in the agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was hammered out with Iran in July. The new “Day” will mean the first wave of economic relief for Iran.
Under the agreement, in exchange for lifting sanctions, Iran is obliged to take steps to put it further away from developing a nuclear weapon while keeping a peaceful nuclear energy program.
In a possible sign of the thaw in relations, it was announced that Iran had freed four American prisoners, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, as part of a prisoner swap deal. Another American, who was not a part of the exchange, was also released.
Iran has various obligations under the nuclear agreement.
It must reduce its level of uranium enrichment, drastically reduce the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium, reduce the number of centrifuges and agree to unfettered international inspections.
But not all nuclear-related sanctions will be rescinded immediately — that won’t happen for about 10 years, should the deal hold. But this month’s milestone will mean Iran will be able to sell its oil again on world markets and its banks will be able to connect to the global system.
Source Article from http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/17/middleeast/iran-iaea-nuclear-deal/