Iran hopes for Sanctions relief by the end of 2015

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator expressed hopes that an agreement will be reached on Iran’s rollback of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief before the end of the year. Negotiator Abbas Araqchi’s comments came a day after US President Obama approved sanctions waivers on October 18, the symbolic implementation day for the nuclear deal concluded between Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US) in July. The waivers will take effect after Iran proves the rollback to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which US officials have stated may take over two months. Araqchi reported that no action has yet been taken towards “mothballing” centrifuges, as facilitators must await an order from President Rouhani to begin. He stated that Iran hoped to see practical implementation of the deal in the next two months. The deal, drawn up between Iran and the P5+1, stipulates Iran dismantle its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

Iranian Oil Minister stated that the country hopes to increase its oil output after the sanctions are lifted, as he called for OPEC to cut collective production to raise international crude prices. In the past few months, Iran has hosted a multitude of foreign trade delegations, and has also attracted attention for the recent involvement of Iranian forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the first gesture of its kind in over 10 years, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Iran this weekend, urging the country use its influence to press Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to work towards a more diplomatic solution to the country’s nearly five-year civil war.

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News Briefs:

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  • Vice News produced a short documentary on two of the five former Guantanamo detainees sent to Kazakhstan in December 2014. The report details the difficulties facing Lotfi Bin Ali and his Yemeni companion Sabri al-Qurashi, both living in the east Kazakhstan city of Semey. Both report issues obtaining vital medication through the Red Crescent of Kazakhstan, apparently in charge of monitoring them and providing housing and aid; negative encounters with local police; and integrating into a predominantly Russian-speaking society. Vice journalists could not pinpoint any organization that holds complete jurisdiction over their situation, although they are not allowed to leave the city. The US concluded an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan to repatriate the five former detainees. Four remain, as one died of kidney failure in southern Kazakhstan in March 2015.
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