The European Union (EU) is ready to lift economic sanctions against Iran as soon as the UN nuclear agency verifies Tehran’s compliance with its obligations under a nuclear agreement it reached with six world powers last July, sources say.
Diplomatic sources said on Friday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to issue its final report possibly later in the day or over the weekend confirming that Iran has lived up to its obligations under the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
They added that the IAEA is expected to confirm that Iran had fulfilled its obligations so that the 28-nation EU, alongside the United States and the United Nations, can end their sanctions on what is known as “Implementation Day” for the JCPOA.
“When the report from the IAEA is published, the European Union will be ready,” one of the sources said.
The source added that the EU member states were agreeing the precise instruction which would then be finalized by the Netherlands, the bloc’s rotating presidency.
Iran and the P5+1 – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany finalized the text of the JCPOA in the Austrian capital of Vienna in July 2015.
Under the JCPOA, limits are put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.
In a key step, a senior Iranian nuclear official said on Thursday that the country has removed the core vessel of the Arak heavy water reactor and its cavities have been filled with cement in compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA.
“We carried out the last stage of the removal of the Arak reactor’s heart and today our job was completely done,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
Meanwhile, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA Vladimir Voronkov said on Friday that the UN nuclear agency will publish its report on Tehran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA within hours.