Sanctions against Iran to be lifted after compliance with nuclear deal !!

Mdre Bahri strongly believes that sanction is a form of terrorism applied by the powerful nations against weaker Third World countries  that refuses to mimic or toe US foreign policy line. The major political objectives of the US-government initiated and supported sanctions is to politically isolate, economically weaken and strangulate and thwart the independent/autonomous development efforts of the recalcitrant countries. It is thus high time the UN General Assembly criminalise and outlaw sanctions in all its manifestations just as terrorism is criminalised world wide.

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© AP US secretary of state John Kerry (left) meets with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (right) in Vienna. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has ordered that nuclear-related economic sanctions against Iran be lifted after a final report by the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Tehran had fulfilled its obligations under last year’s nuclear agreement. In a statement, Kerry said the sanctions termination provisions of Iran’s landmark nuclear agreement were now in effect. President Barack Obama delegated authority to Kerry to make the determination.

The move came after the IAEA’s decision late on Saturday that Tehran had successfully complied with the terms of an international deal agreed in Vienna in July. That announcement in turn followed the release of four dual nationals and a teenage student in a prisoner swap with the US. They included the Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who was held on charges of spying for over a year. The Iranian-Americans were released in exchange for seven Iranian nationals held in US prisons, apparently for violating sanctions. The timing of the prisoner swap implies that the issue had been discussed on the sidelines of the nuclear talks despite denial from both sides.

Earlier in the day, Zarif hailed the milestone as “a good day” for Iran and for the international community. The lifting of sanctions puts Iran on the brink of an extraordinary transformation as it comes in from the cold to normalise its relations with the west. In the words of a report by leading Russian investment firm Renaissance Capital, Iran is “the last remaining sizable global economy that has been cut off from international capital to reopen”.

“Today, with the submission of the report by the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, [the deal] will in fact become implemented,” Zarif told reporters before the announcement, according to Iran’s state-run Press TV.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who wants his people to feel the impact of the nuclear deal in their everyday lives in the runup to parliamentary elections in February, is expected to address the nation live on national TV soon.

The removal of sanctions will have a huge impact inside Iran and internationally. Iranian banks will soon re-establish connections with the European financial system, and private firms can now pursue business opportunities without fear of western punishment. About $30bn (£21bn) of a total of $100bn in frozen assets will be released to Iran imminently.

The lifting of sanctions, which will include an end to an EU embargo on imports of Iranian oil, will also affect the global oil market as Tehran is expected to immediately add almost half a million barrels per day to crude exports. This is likely to add to downward pressure on an oil price that is already plummeting due to oversupply.

The Mehr news agency said a group of oil executives from Total and Shell were in Tehran on Saturday for talks with Iranian officials on the sidelines of an oil conference marking the 60th anniversary of the national Iranian tanker company. Iran has already unveiled a set of new lucrative oil contracts worth tens of billions of dollars to lure foreign investment.

The mood in Tehran is upbeat, but many remain cautious. The index of the Tehran stock market rose to its highest level in 18 months on Saturday morning. Reuters reported that as many as 13 Iranian crude carriers were on course to be fully loaded and prepared to leave for India and Europe. President Barack Obama on Friday night also lifted the ban on the sale of passenger planes to Iran, a decades-long restriction that resulted in Iran’s fleet being very old, prone to accidents and faults.

#ImplementationDay, it’s now time for all—especially Muslim nations—to join hands and rid the world of violent extremism. Iran is ready.

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 16, 2016

Zarif said: “This is a very good day for the Iranian people … a very good day for the region. Our region will be relieved of the shadow of an unnecessary conflict that could have caused worry. This is also a good day for the world. Today is a day when we prove to the world that threats, sanctions, intimidation, pressure don’t work; respect works.

“Through respect, through dialogue, through negotiations, we can in fact reach mutually acceptable solutions, implement mutually acceptable solutions, prove that the naysayers were always wrong, and therefore move towards a world in which diplomacy – not force, not pressure – will prevail.”

The west has already put in place the legislation for lifting sanctions, meaning that it is not subject to further paperwork.

European companies will be able to resume business with Iran, but American companies are still hampered by terrorism, human rights and ballistic missiles-related sanctions that will remain in place. Foreign companies dealing with Iran will however no longer be punished by the US.

“Implementation day is a demonstration of how persistent, high-level engagement is a critical ingredient for successful policies between Iran and the international community,” said Reza Marashi, of the National Iranian American Council, who followed the nuclear talks closely.

He said direct diplomacy between Kerry and Zarif “was the linchpin of this peaceful outcome. In the absence of US-Iran dialogue, accidents such as [the recent capture of US sailors] could have quickly escalated. Thanks to the Iran nuclear deal, a sustained diplomatic channel now exists to de-escalate. The entire Middle East will benefit if this is the new normal.”

Hossein Rassam, a London-based Iranian analyst, said the removal of sanctions would bring two years of intensive diplomacy to fruition. “The significance of the post-implemenation day period is that sectors of the Iranian economy, such as trade and oil, can, after many years, experience relative normalcy,” he said.

John Forrest, head of international trade in London at the law firm DLA Piper, said: “As a significant and diverse emerging market, Iran presents substantial opportunities for European businesses” – particularly those in the energy sector, manufacturing, retail, consumer goods, food and drink, and financial institutions and services.

“From a practical perspective, it remains to be seen whether EU sanction relief will be held back should banks continue to take a cautious approach to processing Iranian payment transactions,” he said.

Forrest also said ongoing human rights and terrorism-related sanctions in the US would have an effect. “Whilst the EU piece of the puzzle is clear, as it has already published relevant legislation amending existing sanctions measures to pave the way for early EU termination, there remains a lack of clarity with regards to the US.”

Source: The Guardian on Line