Zarif: all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran to be lifted

Published January 16th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said all nuclear-related sanctions against his country would be lifted Saturday, saying it "was a good day for the world," AFP reported from Vienna.

"It's a good day for the people of Iran... and also a good day for the region. The sanctions will be lifted today," Zarif said.

The statements come following the IAEA's final report to Iran. Diplomatic sources said the UN nuclear watchdog group would confirm that Iran had complied with last July's agreement on Iran's nuclear program.

Zarif, who led Iran in talks brokered by world powers - the US, Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany - said the nuclear deal had removed "the shadow of a baseless confrontation," from the Middle East.

"It proved that we can solve important problems through diplomacy, not threats and pressure, and thus today is definitely an important day," he continued.

The final IAEA report will allow Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, to announce that the deal can take effect.

In exchange for dramatically scaling back key areas of its nuclear activities, Iran will be relieved of crippling economic sanctions against the country, particularly on oil exports.

These steps and tight IAEA inspections will last for one year - the length of time Iran would need to create enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb.

Iran has always maintained its nuclear activities were only for peaceful purposes, such as power generation and medical research, and that the country is not seeking an atomic weapon.

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