18:36 GMT21 January 2021
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    Preserving the Iran deal as a status quo will further curb Tehran’s nuclear program, outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a conference at the US Institute of Peace on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Preserving the 2015 agreement with Iran on maintaining the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program ensures the country will not develop nuclear weapons and prevents escalation of armed conflict, outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a conference at the US Institute of Peace on Tuesday.

    "Iran… I'm absolutely confident the route to the weapon is being blocked," Kerry said. "If that was undone, we're going to a place of conflict immediately."

    Kerry reinforced the idea that other countries with vested interest in Iran would maintain the nuclear deal to advance their relationship with that country.

    On July 14, 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, comprising the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, ensuring the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for gradual sanctions relief.

    The agreement came into force on January 16, after the International Atomic Energy Agency submitted a report confirming the readiness of Iran's authorities to implement the program to reduce the country’s nuclear potential. Iran ramped up both oil production and investment in the sector after reaching the nuclear agreement.

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