The U.N. nuclear agency certified Saturday that Iran has met all of its commitments under last summer’s landmark nuclear deal, crowning years of U.S.-led efforts to crimp Iran’s ability to make atomic weapons. For Iran, the move lifts Western economic sanctions that have been in place for years, unlocking access to $100 billion in frozen assets and unleashing new opportunities for its battered economy.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the top diplomats of Iran and the European Union hailed the accord, reached after years of setbacks and a full decade after the start of international diplomacy aimed at reducing the possibility that Tehran could turn its nuclear programs to weapons making.
“Today marks the first day of a safer world,” Kerry declared in Vienna. “This evening, we are really reminded once again of diplomacy’s power to tackle significant challenges.
Additionally, Kerry linked the trust built between Iran and the United States over the past two years of talks to the release by Iran Saturday of four Americans who also hold Iranian nationality.