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Oil Minister: Iran Prioritizing Rise in Crude Exports after Vienna Deal

15 July 2015 18:52


Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced on Wednesday that his ministry is planning to increase the volume of crude exports following the Tuesday agreement Tehran and the six world powers.

“The first priority of the oil ministry is to increase the volume of crude exports after the Vienna agreement,” the Iranian oil minister told reporters on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Vienna agreement could serve as a prelude to further cooperation between his country and the six world powers.

“This agreement is not the ceiling, but a firm foundation for future work,” Zarif, also Iran’s top negotiator, said commenting on the Vienna agreement.

Speaking to reporters in a press conference in Vienna, Zarif said endorsement of the agreement in a UN Security Council resolution in the coming days would mean that “the same UN Security Council that issued resolutions against Iran under the pretext of proliferation, now recognizes Iran’s nuclear enrichment program”.

He said the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany will propose the deal as a draft to be approved by the council as a resolution.

Zarif said 2 to 3 months later and after the US congress approves the agreement, it could be called a deal and put into effect.

He stressed that Iran will take certain moves based on its cooperation plan with the IAEA in that two-month period, but its undertakings mentioned in the Vienna agreement would start after the Congress approval and simultaneous with the US compliance with its undertakings.

Zarif cautioned that in case each party defies its undertakings, there will be a mechanism for the opposite party to reverse its measures.

Iran and the six world powers struck a deal in Vienna on Tuesday July 14.

The hitherto elusive agreement was finally nailed down on Tuesday in the ritzy Palais Coburg Hotel in the Austrian capital of Vienna, where negotiators from Iran and the six other countries had recently been spending over two weeks to work out the remaining technical and political issues.

Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in landmark remarks declared attainment of the agreement.

Zarif and Mogherini thanked all those who played a role in resolving the Iran-West nuclear standoff, including the Austrian government and IAEA.

“We, the EU foreign policy chief and the foreign ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran, China, France, US, Germany, Britain and Russia, welcome the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that guarantees the fully peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” the two top diplomats said.

They said that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany) have ratified a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that ensures the path ahead for cooperation.

“The JCPOA includes removal of all sanctions, including banking, financial and energy embargoes,” they said.

They said the agreement includes the JCPOA along with five annexes, including one on sanctions and another one on nuclear cooperation.

Meantime, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said his country has achieved all its four goals in the agreement that his foreign minister Zarif signed with the six world powers in Vienna.

President Rouhani said his nation started talks with the world powers in a bid to remove all sanctions while maintaining its nuclear program and nuclear progress as two main goals.

All sanctions, including the financial, banking, energy, insurance, transportation, precious metals and even arms and proliferation sanctions will be, not suspended, but terminated according to the Tuesday agreement as soon as the deal comes into force, he said, adding that Iran will only be placed under certain limited arms deal restrictions for five years.

Meantime, Iran will inject gas into its highly advanced IR8 centrifuge machines, continue its nuclear research and development, and keep its Arak Heavy Water Facility and Fordo and Natanz enrichment plants under the agreement, he said, elaborating on Iran’s gains.

Another goal, Rouhani said, was taking Iran off Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, “and we did it”.

Yet, he said Iran will scrutinize implementation of the agreement to see if the opposite side would comply with its terms.

He stressed that certain powers have left a dark record in complying with their undertakings under previous agreements, and Iran will keep a watchful eye on powers’ compliance with the agreement.

Rouhani underlined that Iran will remain fully loyal to the terms of the agreement as long as powers comply with their undertakings.

Yet, he said the agreement will come into full force after several phases. “Today was phase one. The second step will be approval of the agreement in a UN Security Council resolution.”

“And phase three will be two months after the UNSC resolution,” the president said, adding that the agreement will go into effect after phase three when Iran and the powers declare their preparedness to start action.

Yet, Rouhani said “today was the most important phase.”

He said the agreement came despite the Israeli regime’s powerful opposition, adding that Tel Aviv’s steadfast antagonism proved futile.

Rouhani said the regional nations are happy today to see the agreement has been struck between Iran and the 6 world powers.

He cautioned “certain parties to the nuclear talks to avoid claims that the agreement prevents Iran from developing nuclear bombs, because every one in the world knows that our Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) has placed a religious ban on the development, use or acquisition of military nuclear technology and Iran has never been after atomic bombs.”

President Rouhani thanked the Iranian team of negotiators for their industrious efforts as well as the Leader for his guidelines and support, and the Iranian nation for their years of resistance against illegitimate pressures.

Meantime, the President welcomed domestic critics to present their assessments and proposals on the agreement.

Rouhani also cautioned the regional nations to take good care not to be deceived by enemies, stressing that Iran is only after peace and security in the region.

The agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will be presented to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which will adopt a resolution in seven to 10 days making the JCPOA an official document.

Meantime, Iran and the IAEA signed a roadmap. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said a “roadmap” has been signed between the IAEA and Iran as the final agreement was struck over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Salehi signed the roadmap.

Amano said the roadmap calls for his agency, with Iran’s cooperation, to make an assessment of issues relating to what is called as possible military dimensions of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by the end of 2015.

“This is a significant step forward toward clarifying outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program,” Amano said.

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