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EU suspends some sanctions as Iran halts high-level uranium enrichment

EU suspends some sanctions as Iran halts high-level uranium enrichment
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The European Union has agreed to suspend some economic sanctions against Iran as part of a ground-breaking nuclear agreement. Under the deal, Tehran has scaled back its nuclear work and ceased enriching uranium above 5 percent.

It will continue to produce lower-level uranium.

Measures targeting petrochemical products, gold and other precious metals, the auto industry, passenger plane parts and services will be lifted immediately.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEA) said: “Those centrifuges will continue to produce 5 percent uranium. In other words none of our centrifuges will be idle during the next six months.”

The IAEA confirmed that higher-level uranium enrichment in the Natanz facility in central Iran had been stopped.

Meanwhile, back in Tehran, some residents described the move as a key step toward easing more of the sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.

“The market is somehow resisting. Everybody is waiting to see a final result. However, the rial (Iranian currency) has gained 500 against the US dollar and gold coins are now 200,000 rials cheaper. I hope, and I’m sure, that this positive trend will continue,” said Ashkan Ordookhani, owner of a bureau de change in Tehran.

“I am happy that our negotiators reached such a good agreement. … I believe there will be a positive impact on our lives and the economy,” said Nasseri, a resident of Tehran.

The sanctions have severely damaged Iran’s oil-dependent economy. The suspending some of the measures by the EU will certainly provide relief to many ordinary Iranians.