Iran expects sanctions to be lifted this year

Vienna: Tehran expects sanctions against it to be lifted by the end of the year after it fully implements the nuclear-related commitments made by it in a landmark nuclear deal adopted on Sunday.

Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi acknowledged on Monday after meeting here with his counterparts from P5+1 — the US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany — that the large task of dismantling centrifuges, a key point of the deal, had not yet begun.

He told reporters that the green-light to begin the process would first be required from the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, something he expected would happen soon.

Senior officials from Iran and P5+1 on Monday discussed issues such as redesign and modernisation of the Arak heavy water reactor, possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear past, as well as preparations for lifting nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Iran, a diplomatic source told Xinhua.

Sunday’s adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that was agreed upon on July 14, are regarded by all sides as an important milestone for pushing forward the implementation of the deal, the source said.

While both the US and the European Union on Sunday had given notice that they were preparing to pull back sanctions in light of a full implementation, the US said it expected Iran would take longer than two months for it to meet its side of the agreement, and for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify its compliance.

Similarly, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he expected EU sanctions against Tehran to remain in place until at least January.