Germany’s foreign minister said on Sunday sanctions against Iran would likely remain in place until at least January as world powers wait to see whether Tehran sticks to its commitments under a plan to curb its nuclear program.
In July, Iran struck a deal with six world powers under which it must restrict sensitive aspects of its nuclear program to help ensure they can never be put to bomb-making, in exchange for the removal of sanctions.
But Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Iran must show evidence it is complying with the deal before the sanctions can be lifted.
“That definitely won’t be the case before the end of January,” he told reporters in Tehran on the first day of the implementation of the nuclear deal. “Now the question is whether Iranshows that it can fulfill its commitments.”
Tehran must show it is dismantling centrifuges used to enrich uranium, destroy existing enriched material and rebuild a heavy water reactor in the city of Arak, Steinmeier said.
Iran is counting on an end to sanctions to boost its battered economy, particularly its oil and gas sector that has shriveled under Western sanctions.
But recently the Obama administration privately reminded other governments and U.S. bankers that sanctions against Iran remain in effect until Iran fully complies with the July nuclear agreement, diplomatic and government sources told Reuters.
Iran has long denied that its enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel has any military ends, saying it is for civilian energy only. But its restrictions on U.N. inspections and intelligence suggesting it has researched nuclear bombs in the past raised concern and led to international sanctions.
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