Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers would be implemented on Saturday.
Zarif told journalists on his plane heading to Vienna that sanctions on Iran will be lifted today, saying the event "marks a good day for Iran and the Middle East."
#ImplementationDay, it’s now time for all—especially Muslim nations—to join hands and rid the world of violent extremism. Iran is ready.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 16, 2016
Upon landing, Zarif will meet with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Zarif said the IAEA will issue their final report on Iran's compliance, after which Zarif, Amano, Kerry and Mogherini will issue a joint statement on the deal's implementation in the coming hours.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that Iran would not receive sanctions relief until the IAEA confirms it has complied with the agreement.
Certification by the International Atomic Energy Agency would allow Iran to immediately recoup some $100 billion in assets frozen overseas. The benefits of new oil, trade and financial opportunities from suspended sanctions could prove far more valuable for Tehran in the long run.
Iran insists all of its nuclear activities are peaceful. But under the July 14 deal, Iran agreed to crimp programs which could be used to make nuclear weapons in return for an end to sanctions.
The agreement puts Iran's various nuclear activities under IAEA watch for up to 15 years, with an option to re-impose sanctions should Tehran break its commitments.
AP contributed to this report
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