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Iran announces ready to proceed with nuclear deal, U.S. Senate doubtful

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Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi saying the interim deal, which sets the terms of a landmark agreement reached in November, would take effect for six months beginning Jan. 20, reports AP today released on ABC News.

The news agency said Iran will grant the United Nations' atomic agency access to its nuclear facilities and its centrifuge production lines to confirm it is complying with terms of the deal.

Deputy Foreign Minister Araghchi stated on IRNA news that some $4.2 billion in seized oil revenue would be released under the deal. Senior officials in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration put the total relief figure at $7 billion.

In November the U.S. under Secretary of State, John Kerry and the representatives from England, Russia, China, France, Germany and facilitated by the European Union, known as the P5+1, struck the deal in Geneva last Nov. with Iran to limit its uranium enrichment to 5 percent, the grade commonly used to power reactors. The deal also commits Iran to stop producing and to neutralize its 20 percent stockpile over the six months displayed in the Nov. deal.

As the clock ticks, sanctions against Iran faces would be eased for six months. During that time, the U.S. and the P+ 5 would continue negotiations with Iran on a permanent deal.

The senior U.S. officials said U.N. inspectors would have daily access to Iranian nuclear sites and would make monthly reports. Iran will dilute half of its nuclear material during the first three months of the agreement, the officials said, and all of it by the end of the agreement.

Iran can at any time return to production if negotiations become stuck during the next six months which is a worry in the West. The ISNA news agency from Tehran stressed it does not want to facilitate nuclear weapons today with the news release.

The deal struck allows Iran to have access to parts for its civilian aviation, petrochemical and automotive industries, as well as be allowed to import and export gold. The deal also gives Iran access to international humanitarian and medical supplies, though Iran still could not use U.S. banks and the majority of sanctions would remain in place.

President Obama said in a written statement today, ‘With today's agreement, we have made concrete progress,’ but the Obama administration continues to battle a bipartisan push for new U.S. sanctions which it claims could jeopardize the pact, reports Fox News today.

‘Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation,’ reiterated Obama in his written statement.

The legislation in question would blacklist several Iranian industrial sectors and threaten banks and companies around the world with being banned from the U.S. market if they help Iran export any more oil. The provisions would only take effect if Tehran violates the six-month interim deal or lets it expire without a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

Supporters say such a bill is necessary to pressure Iran to adhere to the deal. ‘The need for additional prospective sanctions is already clear,’ Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who drafted the bill, said on Friday

AP reports that there are 59 senators on board for the bill, with an easy push to acquire the 67 votes to surpass a Presidential veto.

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Paris, said the administration's ‘absolute top priority’ is preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

To view more information on the Iran nuclear agreement, click on articles below in Author's suggestions and view the video atop this article.

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