The Obama administration is poised to begin lifting sanctions on Iran — possibly as early as January — even as Tehran flouts the spirit of the nuclear agreement in a spate of rocket launches and other shenanigans.
While a ballistic missile test in October, as well as a suspected second one last month, were clear breaches of existing U.N. Security Council resolutions, they were technically “not in violation” of the nuclear accord reached between world powers and Tehran in July, according to the State Department’s top official overseeing the deal.
Steven D. Mull made that claim before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday after Secretary of State John F. Kerry confirmed in a letter to the committee that Iran is “transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing” the terms of the deal and said that “suspension of sanctions is appropriate.”
Mr. Kerry sent the letter Wednesday, just as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was making headlines by expressing hope that sanctions relief will begin in January.
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Mr. Rouhani could get his wish as long as Iran works quickly and smoothly with the agency in the coming weeks.
“If everything goes well, it is not impossible,” Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which the U.S. and other world powers have entrusted with implementing the nuclear accord, said Wednesday in Vienna.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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