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US finds Iran in compliance with deal, lifts nuclear sanctions

US finds Iran in compliance with deal, lifts nuclear sanctions

By Julian Hattem for The Hill

Iran has taken sufficient steps to prevent it from building a nuclear weapon, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog certified Saturday, opening the door for the United States and countries around the world to lift sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

After decades of tensions, years of negotiations and months of work to implement the international nuclear deal reached six months ago, Iran has fulfilled its promises, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

The State Department confirmed moments later that the nuclear deal is now implemented. 

In Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry touted the step as a vindication of diplomacy in the face of doubters. 

"I think we have also proven once again why diplomacy must be our first choice and war a last resort," Kerry said. 

"Iran has undertaken significant steps that many, and I do mean many, people doubted would ever come to pass," he added. 

Iran's level of enriched uranium is two percent of what it was before the agreement, Kerry said while pointing to a range of steps Iran has taken. 

"Iran has taken every step that it committed to take dating back two full years," Kerry said. 

He added: "Today marks the first day of a safer world."

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