8:26 pm - Wednesday December 13, 2017

Deal reached on Iran nuclear dispute

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Iran n-deal: six global powers sign landmark nuclear deal
Iran n-deal: six global powers sign landmark nuclear deal

Iran and six world powers reached agreement on a nuclear deal to temporarily curb its nuclear programme in return for easing of economic sanctions late Saturday.

Iran will halt the enrichment of uranium to a level of 20 per cent for six months, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

However, Tehran would be allowed to continue other parts of its enrichment programme, he said.

In return, the world powers negotiating the deal pledged to not impose additional sanctions against Iran during that time and would suspend some existing punitive measures.

Measures to be suspended include parts of the oil embargo, as well as sanctions against Iran’s petrochemical industry, car production, insurances and trade with precious metals, the minister says.

Obama lauds deal

US President Barack Obama praised the deal as an opening to a safer world, but warned that Tehran must give up its ambitions for a nuclear weapon.

“Today we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive peaceful settlement and I believe we must test it,” Obama said.

“The burden is on Iran to prove that its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes.” Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the US are concerned that the uranium and plutonium could be turned into nuclear weapons.

Tehran insists that it needs the material only as reactor fuel.

“We are trying to solve all problems in the nuclear dispute in the framework of international rules, and to make clear to the world that we do not want to produce weapons of mass destruction,” Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said on state television before the deal was signed.

Mr. Rowhani took office in August and vowed to quickly get the sanctions lifted, as they have had a crippling effect on his country’s economy.

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