Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said nuclear-related sanctions on his country would be lifted Saturday, telling reporters in Vienna it “was a good day for the world.”
“It’s a good day for the people of Iran… and also a good day for the region. The sanctions will be lifted today,” he said after arriving in Austria’s capital on Saturday morning, according to the ISNA news agency.
His comments came after diplomatic sources said the UN nuclear watchdog would likely say Iran had complied with last July’s landmark agreement with world powers on Tehran’s atomic program.
Zarif, who led Iran in nuclear talks with the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, said the deal had removed from the Middle East “the shadow of a baseless confrontation.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency report will allow US Secretary of State John Kerry, Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, to announce in Vienna that the deal can enter into force, the diplomatic sources said.
The economic sanctions on Iran would most probably be lifted Saturday, a source in Jerusalem told Army Radio, and he warned that the first investment by the Islamic Republic would be military and not civilian.
The unnamed source said that Iran’s first priority would be to spend its newly freed-up funds on military acquisitions, and not on civilian investments, Army Radio reported. Furthermore, the source said, the implementation of the agreement would have a direct impact on the region, as terror groups Hezbollah and Hamas — both recipients of Iranian largesse — found themselves in possession of new and modern weaponry.
“The world powers are mistaken if they see Iran as a solution to regional stability, and not the source of the problem,” another unnamed source said, according to the radio.