The implementation of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers has entered a new phase on Sunday, US officials said.
According to a clause in the nuclear deal, the so-called Adoption Day was to happen 90 days after the agreement was approved by the UN Security Council, which happened on July 20.
“These next steps will allow us to reach the objectives we set out to achieve over the course of nearly two years of tough, principled diplomacy,” President Barack Obama said in a statement on Sunday.
“I am confident in the extraordinary benefits to our national security and the peace and security of the world” from putting the agreement in place.
As of Sunday, Iran is obliged under the terms of the deal to start the work of dismantling components of its nuclear programme that could be used to build nuclear weapons, according to a briefing given by senior US administration officials to reporters on Saturday.
Senior administration officials said Saturday they understand it’s in Iran’s best interest to work quickly, but they are only concerned that the work is done correctly.
“Iran says it can do all of this by the end of 2015, but officials think it will take longer than that,” Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, who was present at the briefing, said.
Officials also said that US President Barack Obama was to issue a memorandum to federal agencies to prepare for possible lifting of sanctions against Iran.
In the new phase, the US treasury department is also expected to issue some waivers for non-US businesses that want to do business in Iran.
The waivers focus on banking, oil purchases, and investments in certain economic sectors, officials said.
Narrow waivers for US businesses
Officials also said that US businesses would get only the narrowest of waivers, dealing with some commercial aircraft sales and handicrafts.
“None of these waivers will take effect until Iran complies with all the terms of the deal,” Jordan said.
In another new step, the US, China, and Iran will issue a statement confirming how they will jointly redesign and rebuild the Arak nuclear reactor so that it can provide electricity, officials said.
Under the July 14 deal with the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, Iran accepted strict limitations on its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from the sanctions that have crippled its economy.
The agreement opened the door to easing decades of mounting hostility between Iran and the West. Western powers suspect the programme was aimed at developing the means to build an atom bomb, but Iran says it seeks only peaceful atomic energy.