Iran nuclear deal to take effect on Jan 20

Updated: 2014-01-13 09:43


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Senior US officials offered details for the first time on how the estimated $7 billion in sanctions relief envisaged in the November 24 agreement will be distributed.

The officials, who spoke to reporters on condition that they not be identified, said some sanctions relief would start on the first day of the six-month agreement's implementation - Jan 20 - and some will be withheld until its final day.

Among the total sanctions relief over the six months, $4.2 billion is in the form of access to currently blocked Iranian revenues held abroad.

One official said access to some of those funds depended on Iran keeping its commitment to dilute half of its 20 percent enriched uranium to no more than 5 percent enriched uranium.

Another official said the first $550 tranche would be paid on or about Feb 1, and the final payment, of the same amount, on or about July 20 A total of $900 million would depend on Iran diluting the enriched uranium, this official said.

Senior officials from the European Union and Iran met in Geneva on Thursday and Friday to iron out remaining practical questions related to the implementation of the Nov 24 deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its most proliferation-sensitive nuclear activity - higher-level uranium enrichment - in return for some relief from Western economic sanctions.

Such relief would include suspension of some restrictions on trade in gold, precious metals and petrochemicals, and in the auto industry. The deal allows third-country purchases of Iranian oil to remain at current levels. Some $4.2 billion in oil revenues would be allowed to be transferred to Iran.

EU spokesman Michael Mann said on Friday that any agreements would need to be validated by the governments of Iran and the six powers.

The accord is designed to last six months and the parties hope to use the time to negotiate a final, broad settlement governing the scope of Iran's nuclear programme.

Giving details about the deal, Deputy Foreign Minister Araqchi told state television that each party's commitments would be implemented "in one day".

"After the first step is taken, then in a short period of time we will again start our contacts for resumption of negotiations for the implementation of the final step."

He added: "We don't trust them. ... Each step has been designed in a way that allows us to stop carrying out our commitments if we see the other party is not fulfilling its commitments."