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France could ease Iran sanctions ‘in December’

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-25

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday that France could lift crippling economic sanctions against Iran within weeks, following an historic deal between world powers and the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme.

France could begin easing European sanctions on Iran in December, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday, following the announcement of an international deal to freeze and reverse the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme.

“We have agreed to ease a certain number of sanctions,” Fabius told Europe 1 radio on Monday, noting that a final deal rested on mutual respect of the preliminary accord hammered out over the weekend in Geneva.

“[Easing of sanctions] could begin in a few weeks. We have a meeting of foreign affairs ministers coming up. Based on a plan by [EU foreign policy chief] Catherine Ashton, who has our support, we are proposing lifting sanctions, but in a limited, targeted and reversible way. It’s the same on the American side,” Fabius noted.

On Sunday, diplomats announced that Tehran had agreed to curb its nuclear programme and allow greater access to its sensitive sites, in exchange for lifting some economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.

“They will start in December,” Fabius said of relaxing sanctions, adding that the measure would allow the French auto industry to once again do business in Iran.

Echoing Fabius’ words, EU foreign affairs spokesman Michael Mann said the easing of sanctions "could be in December, it could be in January, it depends on how long the legislative process takes.”

Easing the EU restrictions would affect numerous industries including the oil and gold trade, as well as opening financial transfers to purchase food and medicine.

Iran’s arch-foe Israel has described the initial deal as an “historic mistake.”

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2013-11-25

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