July 22, 2011 By

US , Allies Being to Ease Sanctions on Iran

7The United States will ease the sanctions on Iran after it implemented the commitment of stopping its nuclear scheme in Tehran on Monday. The move is part of a landmark deal with the world powers P5+1 to dismiss the concerns as regards its nuclear program and to minimize the restrictions that have hindered the country’s economy. The United States will send Undersecretary Wendy Sherman to Geneva on Tuesday to begin the negotiations.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement that Washington would continue to aggressively enforce sanctions that would remain in effect for the six months. The United Nations nuclear agency has confirmed that higher-level uranium enrichment at a facility in central Iran has been stopped. A report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday that Iran had halted its 20 percent uranium enrichment and began diluting its stockpile of uranium enriched to that level. Iranian state TV reported on Monday that workers had cut the link feeding cascades enriching uranium at its facilities at Natanz and Fordo enrichment sites, with inspectors from the IAEA present to observe the procedure.

In return, the world powers will reduce the curbs on the country’s economy. This includes allowing the six current customers of Iranian oil to continue their purchases at reduced levels for six months as per the deal with the world powers. Iran will also be allowed to resume key exports including petro chemicals and trading in gold, precious metals and automotive parts. The country will also be receiving the first of the six installment payments of unfrozen overseas funds on or around Feb. 1. Total payments come up to around $4.2 billion, with the last of the funds due to be transferred in July. Banking sanctions against Iran mean that cancer patients cannot access life-saving imported drugs, even though formally these have been exempt from control, wrote former British foreign secretary Jack Straw, in an article published in The Independent on Friday.

The six month agreement between Iran and the world powers,  namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany will allow a breathing space for the nations to negotiate for achieving a permanent deal. US and its western allies have been long worried that Iran’s nuclear program would be used for developing weapons. But Iran had repeatedly made it clear that it was for purposes like generating electricity and conducting medical research.

EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton told Reuters that the talks would begin “within next few weeks”. Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress, said that during the next six months “it is essential that all parties refrain from provocative actions that could diminish trust and complicate already difficult negotiations.” US President Barack Obama has been lobbying the lawmakers not to enforce additional sanctions against Iran, which according to him “could derail the whole agreement and cause the Iranians to resist further dialogue.” The US and Iran have been engaged in good-will activities since March , last year, for easing the relations between the two countries including letter exchanges between the two leaders. President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in June last year, had said that he wanted to reduce Iran’s isolation and find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute. In an interview on Iranian state television he said that time for resolving the dispute was limited and that “I am hopeful we can, step by step, solve this problem.”

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