WASHINGTON: Iran will get USD 4.2 billion of its blocked funds in phases under a six-month landmark nuclear deal, as President Barack Obama cautioned that any congressional legislation that slaps fresh sanctions on Tehran will only risk derailing the peace efforts.
The final installment will not be available to Iran until the very last day,” Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday.
A top official, however, said Iran will get the first installment of USD 550 million around first week in February.
Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, UK, Russia, China, and France plus Germany – sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action in November last year. Under the plan, Iran agreed to curb parts of its nuclear program for six months in exchange for modest relief from international sanctions.
Iran announced that it along with six world powers have agreed on how to implement the nuclear deal they struck in November with the terms starting from January 20.
“I have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” Obama said in a statement.
“Today’s agreement to implement the Joint Plan of Action announced in November marks the first time in a decade that the Islamic Republic of Iran has agreed to specific actions that halt progress on its nuclear program and roll back key parts of the program,” he said.
Beginning January 20, Iran will for the first time start eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible, the US President said.
“I welcome this important step forward, and we will now focus on the critical work of pursuing a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.
However, some congressional lawmakers who are skeptical over the deal have proposed fresh sanctions against Iran.
Obama, however, cautioned them “imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully.”
“We will continue to vigorously enforce the broader sanctions regime, and if Iran fails to meet its commitments, we will move to increase our sanctions,” he said. -PTI