Iran Nuclear Deal to Take Effect on Jan. 20

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 12 2014 2:21 PM

Iran Nuclear Deal to Take Effect on Jan. 20

kerry
"These negotiations will be very difficult, but they represent the best chance we have to resolve this critical national security issue peacefully," Secretar of State John Kerry said in a statement Sunday

State Department

There’s finally a start date for the deal that was first announced in November. Iran and six world powers agreed to move forward with the interim accord that effectively freezes Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The news that the interim nuclear deal will begin taking effect from Jan. 20 was confirmed in Iran, Washington and Brussels following negotiations last week. Sealing the deal means that all the parties involved in the accord have agreed to the concrete steps to implement the Nov. 24 interim agreement, notes the Wall Street Journal. The interim agreement lasts for six months but can be extended for an additional six months. During this time, Iran and the six powers will work on a more comprehensive agreement.

"As of that day, for the first time in almost a decade, Iran's nuclear program will not be able to advance, and parts of it will be rolled back, while we start negotiating a comprehensive agreement to address the international community's concerns about Iran's program," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement Sunday. Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit uranium enrichment to 5 percent and either dilute or neutralize its stockpile of 20-percent uranium. In exchange Iran’s economic sanctions would be eased.

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Meanwhile, a group of bipartisan lawmakers have long been skeptical of any deal with Iran and are proposing to tighten sanctions on Iran, a move the White House has said would be counterproductive and President Obama has vowed to veto, notes CNN. He once again repeated that threat Sunday. “I’m grateful to our partners in Congress who share our goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Obama said in a statement. "Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.