Iran starts implementing nuclear deal; Europeans, US swiftly lift some sanctions

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Associated Press

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 20 at 4:33 PM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A landmark deal aimed at easing concerns over Iran's nuclear program is taking effect.

Iran today unplugged banks of centrifuges that were involved in its most sensitive uranium enrichment work.

The United States and the European Union quickly responding by lifting some economic sanctions. The White House says today's actions mark "the first time in nearly a decade that Iran has verifiably enacted measures to halt progress on its nuclear program."

The moves also start a six-month clock for Iran and world powers to negotiate a final agreement aimed at ensuring Iran cannot build a nuclear weapon.

Tehran denies its nuclear program is intended to produce a bomb. The deal allows Iran to continue uranium enrichment at low levels, sufficient to fuel an electricity-generating reactor.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Jay Carney says the U.S. and other world powers will continue aggressive enforcement of sanctions as negotiations over a final deal proceed. Those talks are expected to start next month.

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151-c-21-(David Melendy, AP correspondent)-"elements of it"-AP correspondent David Melendy reports a deal aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons has started to take hold. (20 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *151 (01/20/14)££ 00:21 "elements of it"

150-v-33-(David Melendy, AP correspondent)--The United States says it will begin easing economic sanctions on Iran now that Tehran has scaled back its nuclear program. More from the AP's David Melendy. (20 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *150 (01/20/14)££ 00:33

152-c-21-(David Melendy, AP correspondent)-"of its commitment"-AP correspondent David Melendy reports that the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has kept its promise to start scaling back its nuclear program by today. (20 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *152 (01/20/14)££ 00:21 "of its commitment"

161-a-11-(European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, at news conference)-"to achieve that"-Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, says the nuclear deal with Iran is an important milestone. (20 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *161 (01/20/14)££ 00:11 "to achieve that"

160-a-16-(European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, at news conference)-"into force today"-Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, says the European Union has voted to lift some economic sanctions on Iran after getting word that high-level uranium enrichment in the country has been suspended. (20 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *160 (01/20/14)££ 00:16 "into force today"

155-a-18-(British Foreign Secretary William Hague, with reporters)-"of the agreement (second reference)"-British Foreign Secretary William Hague says easing some of the economic sanctions on Iran is part of a deal between Iran and the international community. ((note length of cut)) (20 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *155 (01/20/14)££ 00:18 "of the agreement (second reference)"

APPHOTO VAH103: This picture released by Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA, shows an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seal on a piece of equipment at one of Iran's uranium enrichment facilities at the Natanz plant, some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Iran has halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work as part of a landmark deal struck with world powers, state TV said Monday. The broadcast said Iran halted its 20 percent uranium enrichment, which is just steps away from bomb-making materials, by cutting the link feeding cascades enriching uranium in Natanz. (AP Photo/IRNA, Kazem Ghane) (20 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO VAH103 (01/20/14)££

APPHOTO VAH102: Unidentified International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors and Iranian technicians are on hand to cut the connections between the twin cascades for 20 percent uranium enrichment at Natanz facility, some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Iran has halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work as part of a landmark deal struck with world powers, state TV said Monday. The broadcast said Iran halted its 20 percent uranium enrichment, which is just steps away from bomb-making materials, by cutting the link feeding cascades enriching uranium in Natanz. (AP Photo/IRNA, Kazem Ghane) (20 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO VAH102 (01/20/14)££

APPHOTO CAI102: FILE -- This Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, shows the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran. Iranian state TV on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 announced the country has started implementing a landmark deal struck between six world powers and Tehran to ease Western sanctions in exchange for Iran opening its nuclear program to international inspection and limiting its uranium enrichment, which is a possible pathway to nuclear arms. (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour, File) (20 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO CAI102 (01/20/14)££

APPHOTO CAI101: FILE- This Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006 file photo, shows an aerial view of a heavy-water production plant in the central Iranian town of Arak. Iranian state TV on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 announced the country has started implementing a landmark deal struck between six world powers and Tehran to ease Western sanctions in exchange for Iran opening its nuclear program to international inspection and limiting its uranium enrichment, which is a possible pathway to nuclear arms. (AP Photo/ ISNA, Arash Khamoushi, File) (20 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO CAI101 (01/20/14)££

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