International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano is seen through a video camera viewfinder as he attends a news conference in Vienna.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Iran has completed the requisite tasks to begin implementing the nuclear deal it secured with world powers last summer, according to its state-run media, just weeks before Tehran is to hold parliamentary elections. Fars News Agency reported the news on Tuesday, just days before the UN International Atomic Energy Agency is set to release a report on Iran's compliance.
For Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany to reach 'Implementation Day' for the nuclear deal– formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action– Tehran was first instructed to complete a series of tasks. Iran was required to neuter its plutonium reactor, reduce its nuclear enrichment capacity and stockpile, and increase access and transparency at its declared nuclear facilities.
As soon as Iran completes all of these steps– a process the Obama administration believed would take between four and six months– the deal will be formally implemented, and Iran will begin receiving sanctions relief. The last step, according to Fars
, was the removal and destruction of the heart of Iran's plutonium heavy-water reactor, known as a calandria. "The operation was accomplished today and the core has been filled with cement," an Iranian source said.
"Following the IAEA approval, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini will issue a joint statement to declare that Iran has met its end of the bargain," according to the source of Fars
, which was a reliable news agency for Iranian government updates throughout the nuclear talks. "Then it will be the six world powers' turn to comply with their undertaking and remove the sanctions," the source added.