US approves conditional sanctions waivers for Iran

The US approved conditional sanctions waivers for Iran on Sunday, though it cautioned they would not take effect until Tehran had curbed its nuclear programme as required under the nuclear deal reached in Vienna in July 2015.

-I hereby direct you to take all necessary steps to give effect to the US commitments with respect to sanctions described in [the Iran deal], President Obama said.

Several senior US officials, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said actual implementation of the deal was still at least two months away.

In a memo to the secretaries of state, treasury, commerce and energy that was released by the White House press office, the president said that Sunday was “adoption day” for the deal, which came 90 days after the United Nations security council endorsed the agreement reached by Iran, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, under which most sanctions will be lifted in exchange for limits on Tehran’s nuclear activities.

In Vienna, Iran told the IAEA on Sunday it would fulfil a commitment under the deal to implement the Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, allowing UN nuclear inspectors greater access to Iranian facilities. Iran will take that step on “implementation day”, the IAEA said in a statement. Under the deal, that is when the agency is due to have verified that Tehran has implemented restrictions on its nuclear activities and sanctions should be lifted.