By Mark Rivett-Carnac
October 19, 2015

The U.S. has begun preparations to suspend nuclear-related sanctions on Iran as part of Washington’s commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that was officially adopted on Sunday. However, punitive economic measures will not be lifted until Tehran complies with every agreed measure to limit its nuclear program, according to the White House.

The announcement marked “adoption day” of the agreement that was signed in Vienna on July 14 by Iran, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the E.U., and endorsed 90 days ago by the U.N. Security Council.

It is an “important milestone toward preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and ensuring its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful going forward,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a White House statement on Sunday.

“I have directed that the heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies of the United States begin preparations to implement the U.S. commitments,” Obama said, “including providing relief from nuclear-related sanctions.”

European nations followed suit and “adopted the legislative framework for lifting all of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions,” E.U. High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in a joint statement on Sunday.

Sanctions will not be officially lifted until the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that Iran has complied with every measure in the agreement. These include removing centrifuges, cutting its enriched uranium stockpile by more than 90% and restructuring the Arak heavy-water reactor for peaceful and research purposes.

Meeting every requirement in the deal could take months, senior U.S. officials told a press briefing on Saturday. But if fully implemented, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the deal “will bring unprecedented insight and accountability to Iran’s nuclear program forever.”

Write to Mark Rivett-Carnac at mark.rivett-carnac@timeasia.com.

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