President Obama Signs Executive Order Lifting Some Sanctions on Iran

Time: 4:51 p.m. CEST Update: 10:28 p.m. CEST

President Obama signs executive order lifting some U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, the White House published on Saturday on the White House website. “All agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order,” Obama explains in the executive order, which  takes steps to provide implementation authorities for aspects of certain statutory sanctions that are outside the scope of the U.S. commitments to lift nuclear-related sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The United States confirms that International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has fully implemented its commitments as it was specified in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “This evening we are really reminded once again of diplomacies power to tackle significant challenges,” Kerry said in Vienna at the news conference.

“We have made a vital breakthroughs related to both, the nuclear negotiations and the separate long-term diplomatic effort,” Kerry said while praising the release of five Americans held in Iran. “International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Iran has honored its commitment to alter dismantle much of its nuclear program,” Kerry said in Vienna. “Pathways Iran had toward enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon have been verifiably closed down, ” Kerry assured during the news conference in Vienna, which excerpts are available on social media.

IAEA Director General Yukia Amano confirmed in that Iran took all steps to start the implementation of the deal.

Iran hopes that international sanctions will be lifted on Saturday after the United Nations nuclear agency declares that Tehran fulfill the agreement to scale back nuclear program, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Javad Zarif said. The United States and the European Union representatives are in Vienna, where the Austrian government hosts a post-Iran nuclear deal consultations Secretary of State John Kerry, EU High representative Federica Mogherini, and Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The so-called “implementation day” of the nuclear deal achieved in July last year marks the phase of a re-entry of a former pariah state in the international scene. This should mark the turning point in the relations between the United States and Iran. The JCPOA marks an initiative of Presidents, U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, regardless the strong opposition in both countries from the hardliners.

The International Atomic Energy Agency should release a report, which should trigger lifting of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. “Today with the release of the IAEA’s chief’s report the nuclear deal will be implemented, after which a joint statement will be made to announce the beginning of the deal,” Zarif said to state agency IRNA, as quoted in Reuters.

Yesterday, the White House press secretary Josh Earnest answers to correspondents questions on Iran and “implementation day.”

“There are important steps that they have committed to take, and they will not be receiving any sort of sanctions relief until the IAEA has been able to independently verify that those steps have been completed and the IAEA, moving forward, will preserve significant capability to monitor Iran’s nuclear program to verify their ongoing compliance with the agreement,” Earnest said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Spokesperson at the State Department, Mark Toner explained, “All parties have continued making steady progress toward “Implementation Day” of the JCPOA, “which will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

On Saturday, state media in Iran published that Iran  released four dual Iranian-American citizens, including Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter.


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