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EU likely to lift Iran sanctions in December

The deal sees Iran curbing uranium enrichment in exchange for some sanctions relief and has garnered both praise and doubt

Published: Updated:

France’s foreign minister said Monday the European Union would likely lift some sanctions on Iran in December, as part of a deal that curbs Tehran’s nuclear program.

Laurent Fabius said on Europe 1 radio that EU foreign ministers would meet together in “a few weeks” to discuss partially lifting some sanctions, which the 28-member body will have to approve Agence France-Presse reported.

“This lifting of sanctions is limited, targeted and reversible,” he said, adding that it would take place “in December,” according to AFP.

Fabius also said Israel, which slammed Sunday’s agreement as a “historic mistake,” was not likely to launch any preventative strikes on arch enemy Iran, “because no one would understand” such a move “at this stage,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.

Meanwhile, Canada vowed Sunday to keep its sanctions regime against Iran after a preliminary deal on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program, calling for a more conclusive accord.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird insisted that Ottawa would keep its “tough” sanctions “in full force” until negotiators clinch a permanent agreement.

“Effective sanctions have brought the regime to present a more moderate front and open the door to negotiations,” he said in a statement.

“Today’s deal cannot be abused or undermined by deception. The Iranian people deserve the freedom and prosperity that they have been denied for too long by the regime’s nuclear ambitions.”

Iranian envoys and world powers reached a first-step accord in Geneva on Sunday aimed at easing Western concerns that Tehran could one day seek nuclear weapons.

The landmark deal sees Iran committed to halt uranium enrichment above purities of five percent in exchange for some $7 billion in sanctions relief.

World powers have also agreed not to impose any fresh sanctions for six months if Iran abides by the deal.

The announcement came after more than four days of talks in Geneva between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council members plus Germany.

(With AFP)