Iran and six world powers have agreed on how to implement an interim nuclear agreement struck in November, with its terms beginning next week. Iranian Foreign Ministry officials confirmed Sunday "the Geneva deal will be implemented from January 20."
Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator, making the announcement in Tehran
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also confirmed the date, saying the sides would now ask the United Nations' nuclear watchdog to verify the deal's implementation.
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and other nations would begin to give Iran "modest relief" on economic sanctions as long as Tehran lives up to its end of the agreement.
Obama said he would veto any new sanctions legislation passed by the U.S. Congress during talks on a long-term deal with Iran, but said Washington would be ready to increase its sanctions if Iran fails to abide by the agreement.
The U.S. president said he has "no illusions" on the difficulty of reaching a final Iran nuclear deal.
Under the interim agreement, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent - the grade commonly used to power reactors. The deal also commits Iran to stop producing 20 percent enriched uranium, which is only a technical step away from weapons-grade material, and to neutralize its 20 percent stockpile.
In exchange, economic sanctions Iran faces would be eased for a period of six months. During that time, the six world powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - would continue negotiations with Iran on a permanent deal.
Western powers suspect Iran has been trying to develop the ability to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Iran says its program is aimed purely at electricity generation and other civilian purposes.
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