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Hassan Rouhani: New chapter for Tehran as sanctions end

Iran “has opened a new chapter” in its ties with the world, President Hassan Rouhani said, hours after international nuclear sanctions were lifted, the BBC reports.

The move came after the international nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, said Iran had complied with a deal designed to prevent it developing nuclear weapons.

UN, US and EU sanctions have hit Iran hard for years.

Most Western governments hailed the move but Israel accused Tehran of still seeking to build a nuclear bomb.

Sanctions on Iran

  • The economic sanctions being lifted now were imposed progressively by the US, EU and UN in response to Iran’s nuclear programme
  • The EU is lifting in full restrictions on trade, shipping and insurance
  • The US is suspending, not terminating, its nuclear-related sanctions; crucially, Iran can now reconnect to the global banking system
  • The UN is lifting sanctions related to defence and nuclear technology sales, as well as an asset freeze on key individuals and companies
  • Non-nuclear US economic sanctions remain in place, notably the ban on US citizens and companies trading with Iran, and US and EU sanctions on Iranians accused of sponsoring terrorism remain in place

A flurry of Iranian economic activity is anticipated:

  • Nearly $100bn (£70bn) of Iranian assets are being unlocked
  • Iran is expected to increase its daily export of 1.1m barrels of crude oil by 500,000 shortly, and a further 500,000 thereafter
  • Iran is reportedly poised to buy 114 new passenger planes from the Airbus consortium

Mr Rouhani said everyone was happy with the deal, apart from those he described as warmongers in the region – Israel and hardliners in the US Congress.

“We Iranians have reached out to the world in a sign of friendliness, and leaving behind the enmities, suspicions and plots, have opened a new chapter in the relations of Iran with the world,” he said in a statement to the nation on Sunday morning.

The lifting of sanctions was “a turning point” for Iran’s economy, he added, saying the country needed to be less reliant on oil revenues.

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