Iran enthusiastic about nuclear deal, ending sanctions
Iran says it expects economic relief and to rejoin the international community starting Monday when some sanctions end in a deal struck with world powers.
"We are heading in a direction in which not only the sanctions are being lifted, but also Iran's political isolation is coming to an end," Mohammad Sadr, an adviser to Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, told the Iranian Students News Agency on the eve of the United States and the European Union suspending some economic punishments in return for Iran's limiting of its uranium enrichment and diluting its nuclear stockpile.
"It will take time, but these two fundamental problems will be solved," Sadr said.
The sanctions will be lifted if International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors who will monitor the Iranian side of the interim deal confirm Iran is meeting its obligations.
They arrived in Tehran Saturday. Iran is to open its nuclear facilities to them starting Monday.
Under the interim deal, signed in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 24 and completed a week ago, Iran will temporarily limit its uranium enrichment to 5 percent and neutralize its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium in return for the easing of some sanctions and a pledge not to impose new ones.
Five percent enrichment is the grade usually used for power-generating reactors. Twenty percent is close to weapons-grade material.
The relief will let Iran freely export petrochemical products, end sanctions on gold and precious metals, and create a special banking channel so Iran can make payments for food, medicine and other goods it could not pay for because of the international restrictions on financial transactions.
If Iran starts neutralizing the parts of its stockpile currently enriched up to 20 percent, as much as $4.2 billion of its funds will be released, the New York Times said.
During the six-month deal, Iran and six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- agreed to negotiate a permanent deal that will define the allowable extent of Iran's nuclear activity.
"I hope these talks result in the development of comprehensive relations between Iran and the six countries and the strengthening of peace and stability in this sensitive region," Zarif said on his Facebook page late Sunday.
Iran intends to play "a positive and constructive role" in the region, he said.