In the latest step towards peace between Iran and the six world leaders of the P5+1, the countries agreed to a start date for an interim nuclear agreement on Sunday, in which Iran will begin eliminating some of its uranium stockpile while Western leaders begin to ease sanctions on the country, Iranian Foreign Ministry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Sunday.
The interim plan will commence while the countries map out a final agreement over the next six months in which the countries can settle a permanent nuclear negotiation.
As Reuters reports:
Senior officials from the European Union and Iran met in Geneva on Thursday and Friday to iron out remaining practical questions related to the implementation of the November 24 deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its most sensitive nuclear work in return for some relief from Western economic sanctions. [...]
The accord is designed to last six months and the parties hope to use the time to negotiate a final, broad settlement governing the scope of Iran's nuclear program.
On Sunday Iran, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, agreed to begin that process on January 20th.
"We will ask the IAEA to undertake the necessary nuclear-related monitoring and verification activities," Ashton said.
"Capitals have confirmed the result of the talks in Geneva ... the Geneva deal will be implemented from January 20," Marzieh Afkham, spokeswoman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Tehran.
A final negotiation is, however, still slated for six months away.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of U.S. Senators have lined up behind a recently proposed bill that would increase harsh sanctions on Iran, a move that could likely tear down the process of diplomacy and create more unstable relations with Iran if it is successful, critics charge.
President Obama has spoken out against such a bill and on Sunday repeated his intentions to prevent any further sanctions on Iran.
"I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation," he said on Sunday.