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Iran reaches agreement opening nuke program

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran has agreed to limit uranium enrichment and to open its nuclear program to daily inspection by international authorities starting Jan. 20, setting the clock running on a six-month deadline for a final nuclear agreement, officials said Sunday.

In exchange, the Islamic Republic will get a relaxation of the financial sanctions that have been crippling its economy.

The announcement that Iran and six world powers had agreed on the plan for implementing an interim agreement came first from Iranian officials and was later confirmed elsewhere. Some U.S. lawmakers have been leery of the agreement, calling for tougher sanctions against Iran, rather than any loosening of controls.

Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as saying the deal, which sets the terms of a landmark agreement reached in November, would take effect from Jan. 20. The agency said Iran will grant the United Nations' watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency access to its nuclear facilities and its centrifuge production lines to confirm it is complying with terms of the deal.

Araghchi later told state television 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.

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