VIENNA, January 20 (RIA Novosti) – The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog confirmed on Monday that Iran had started implementing an international deal aimed at scaling back the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.
“I am pleased to note that the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action has started today. This is an important development,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said.
The IAEA’s 35-nation board of governors will convene this week to discuss its role in verifying the implementation of the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, he said in a statement.
IAEA inspectors confirmed on Monday that Iran had suspended the production of 20 percent enriched uranium at its Natanz and Fordo sites in line with the Geneva deal, Reuters reported, citing a confidential IAEA report.
The P5+1 group of world powers, which comprises the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, finalized a deal on January 12 to ease some economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for it temporarily freezing some aspects of its nuclear program.
Under the interim deal, announced in November, Iran pledged to halt its highest-level enrichment of uranium, reduce its uranium stockpiles and stop work on its plutonium reactor and the installation of new enrichment centrifuges. It has also agreed to grant access to UN inspectors to ensure compliance with the guidelines.
The European Union and the United States said Monday that they were suspending some economic sanctions against Iran for a six-month period, including on trading with Iran in petrochemical products, gold and precious metals. The upper limit on financial transfers into and out of the country has been increased tenfold.