|Iran to get first $550m of blocked $4.2b on Feb. 1: Reuters||
TEHRAN – Iran will receive the first $550 million installment of a total of $4.2 billion in previously blocked overseas funds on or about February 1 under the Geneva nuclear deal, Reuters reported on Sunday.
On Sunday, Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) agreed to start implementing the Geneva deal on January 20.
Iran and the 5+1 group signed the deal in Geneva on November 24, 2013, according to which Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program and to suspend its 20 percent uranium enrichment in return for a limited easing of the sanctions imposed on the country.
The agreement also stated that over the course of six months, Iran and the six countries of the 5+1 group will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the sanctions on Iran and Iran will provide the world verifiable guarantees that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.
Senior U.S. officials for the first time offered details on how the estimated $7 billion in sanctions relief envisaged in the November 24 agreement will be meted out, according to Reuters.
The officials, who spoke to reporters on condition that they not be identified, said that some sanctions relief will start on the first day of the six-month agreement’s implementation - January 20 - and some withheld until its final day.
Assuming the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, confirms Iran is carrying out the deal, the major powers would immediately suspend sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports, imports for its auto manufacturing sector and on its trade in gold and other precious metals.
Of the estimated $7 billion in sanctions relief over the six months, $4.2 billion is in the form of access to currently blocked Iranian revenues held abroad.
One official said access to some of these funds depended on Iran keeping its commitment to dilute half of its 20 percent enriched uranium to no more than 5 percent enriched uranium.
Another official said the first $550 tranche would be paid on or about February 1, and the final payment, of the same amount, on or about July 20. A total of $900 million would depend on Iran diluting the enriched uranium, this official said.
Other sanctions relief includes a pause on efforts to reduce further Iran’s exports of crude oil, which have been cut to about 1 million barrels per day from about 2.5 million at the start of 2012, before U.S. and European sanctions took effect.
The United States would also move quickly on applications for licenses to provide Iran with aircraft parts and services to ensure the safety of its civilian aircraft and to establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade.
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