Araghchi said that the International Atomic Energy Agency would issue a report Jan. 15 clearing Iran’s past nuclear activities. He added that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini would announce the day of the implementation of the nuclear deal in a joint statement.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany reached a landmark nuclear deal in July that required Iran to reduce the size of its nuclear program for the first time in over a decade in exchange for sanctions relief from the United States, the European Union and the UN Security Council.
Araghchi said that since the deal was made, “many difficult tasks have been completed” in order to reach the final implementation phase. He reiterated that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei both signed off on the nuclear deal.
The manner in which sanctions would be removed was one of the more complicated factors in reaching a date for the final implementation of the nuclear deal, Araghchi said. He said that the United States has a number of sanctions on Iran, some related to non-nuclear developments following the 1979 revolution, others related to the nuclear program, and some sanctions linked to both categories. He said that more than 80% of the sanctions are related to Iran’s nuclear program and that these will be removed with the final implementation of the deal.
Due to a number of non-nuclear sanctions on Iran, US-Iran economic relations are not possible, Araghchi said. However, he added that the United States has made it possible for Iran to purchase passenger planes and receive permission to export food products and rugs to the United States.
According to Araghchi, even after the implementation of the nuclear deal, there will continue to be challenges and misunderstandings about the technical nature of sanctions. He also said that both sides are aware there will most likely be continuous attempts in the US Congress to derail the deal even after it has been implemented.
The Iranian media, particularly Reformist media that have been supportive of President Hassan Rouhani’s policies to resolve the nuclear deal through negotiations, have been awaiting this news. Fatemeh Moghimi wrote in Arman Daily, “There is hope that with the elimination of sanctions and the investment of European bodies in Iran, we will witness the creation and strengthening of a healthy economy.” The op-ed, which was titled “The elimination of sanctions and leaving an oil economy,” argued that after the nuclear deal implementation, Iran has the opportunity to pursue “correct and more desirable” economic policies. Moghimi even argued that greater economic cooperation with regional countries can help reduce tensions with neighboring countries.
In a meeting with former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Tehran, Rouhani said that after the implementation of the nuclear deal, economic, political and regional cooperation between the seven countries involved in the nuclear deal must be increased.