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Iran nuclear deal ‘imminent’ with crippling sanctions removed | Nuclear Energy News

Sources tell Al Jazeera Arabic an agreement to revive the landmark accord abandoned by the US is soon to be announced.

A European proposal to revive the nuclear agreement between Western countries and Iran is imminent and includes the release of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian funds and oil exports in return for the scaling back of its nuclear programme.

The new deal will be carried out in four phases over two 60-day periods, sources with knowledge of the proposed agreement told Al Jazeera Arabic.

Iran recently voiced optimism about an agreement on a renewed version of the 2015 nuclear deal with the United States and other foreign powers, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran’s negotiating team adviser Mohammad Marandi said earlier this week “we’re closer than we’ve been before” to securing a deal and the “remaining issues are not very difficult to resolve”.

The European Union’s “final text” proposal for the accord, submitted last week, was approved by the US, which says it is ready to quickly seal the agreement if Iran accepts it.

According to sources with knowledge of the matter, the proposal stipulates on the day after the agreement is signed, sanctions on 17 Iranian banks as well as 150 economic institutions will be lifted.

It also says Tehran will immediately begin to reverse the steps it took to advance its nuclear technology, which is now beyond the scope of what the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the 2015 deal’s original signatories say is acceptable.

Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is now at 60 percent enrichment, its highest ever and a jump from the 3.67 percent limit set out by the 2015 deal. Enrichment at 90 percent is needed to build a nuclear bomb.

Within 120 days of signing the agreement, Iran will be permitted to export 50 million barrels of oil per day. The deal also includes the release of $7bn from Iran’s coffers, which are currently being held in South Korea, sources said.

The revived Iran nuclear deal will allow for the export of 2.5 million barrels of oil per day 120 days after the signing of the agreement.

The US will have to pay a fine in the event it withdraws from the nuclear agreement again, as it did under the administration of former President Donald Trump in 2018.

With a revived nuclear deal, the US and the deal’s other signatories – France, the United Kingdom, Germany, China and Russia, known collectively as the P5+1 – aim to contain the nuclear programme and prevent what many warn could be a nuclear weapons crisis in the Middle East.

Iran maintains its aims are peaceful and its actions fall within the country’s sovereign rights to a civilian nuclear programme.

 


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