The International Atomic Energy Agency has certified that Iran has complied with its obligations outlined in last summer’s nuclear deal, freeing up as much as $100 billion in previously frozen assets to Iran immediately.
Known in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran deal) as ‘implementation day,’ this step in the process will see most international sanctions removed from Iran. Complete removal of sanctions could occur within hours or a few days.
“Iran has carried out all measures required under the (July deal) to enable Implementation Day (of the deal) to occur,” said the IAEA in a statement today.
Speaking to the IRNA news agency today, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif said “today is a good day for the Iranian people as sanctions will be lifted today.”
The implications of the release of the money could be far-reaching, and perhaps could even bolster Iran’s allies abroad, such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. “I suspect they are going to get an increase in material support” that will “become apparent in the next couple of months,” said Dennis Ross, a former adviser to President Obama, to The Washington Post.
The announcement comes just hours after news that Iran and the U.S. engaged in a prisoner swap which saw the freeing of four U.S. citizens for seven Iranian nationals convicted of breaking sanctions and supporting Iran.
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