TEHRAN – Iran and major powers have agreed to start implementing the Geneva nuclear deal on January 20, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi announced in a news conference on Sunday.
The agreement will allow EU foreign ministers, scheduled to meet that day, to approve the suspension of EU sanctions on Iran covered by the deal.
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) signed an interim agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program in Geneva on November 24, 2013, according to which Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program and to suspend its 20 percent uranium enrichment in return for a limited easing of the sanctions imposed on the country.
The agreement also stated that over the course of six months, Iran and the six countries of the 5+1 group will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the sanctions on Iran and Iran will provide the world verifiable guarantees that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.
Araqchi said that he and Helga Schmid, a deputy of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who has overseen contacts between Iran and the six major powers on the country’s nuclear issue, found solutions for differences on how to implement the Geneva accord in their meeting on Thursday and Friday.
“Today, we were informed that the six countries have approved the proposed solutions and have accepted them. And in Iran, the relevant organizations have also reviewed and approved the solutions,” he said.
“The approval was announced in a telephone conversation with Ms. Schmid, and we agreed that the implementation of the first step of the agreement will begin on January 20,” he added.