Rouhani Government: US Releases $8 Billion in Iran Assets
Rafsanjani: Comprehensive Nuclear Deal Within Year
Nuclear Deal Boosts Iran Oil Exports Through Relaxed Sanctions on Insurance


The Week Past, The Week Ahead: Iran Agreement, A Re-Formed Insurgency in Syria

Now that an interim deal over Iran’s nuclear program has been reached, after more than a decade of on-and-off negotiations, the Rouhani Government faces the task of ensuring public acceptance of its terms.

The initial signals after Sunday’s agreement were positive. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iran’s negotiating team returned to Tehran to a rapturous welcome. The crowd cheerfully mocked those who denounced the agreement, chanting about a common front between the hard-line newspaper Keyhan and Israel.

The Supreme Leader gave his public assent, writing President Rouhani, “What you have gained, an appreciation and thanks for the nuclear negotiation body and officials is befitting, and can be the basis for the next wise steps.”

Rouhani, in a statement to the nation hours after the deal, emphasized the de facto recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium and a beginning to the easing of sanctions, with the prospect of a complete removal within a year.

Rouhani Government: US Releases $8 Billion in Iran Assets

A senior advisor to President Rouhani, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, has confirmed that the US, fulfilling the terms of the interim nuclear deal, has released $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets.

Rafsanjani: Comprehensive Nuclear Deal Within Year

Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has endorsed the hope in Sunday’s joint agreement between Iran and the 5+1 Powers of a comprehensive nuclear deal within a year.

Rafsanjani told London’s Financial Times that the hardest step was the initial agreement:

It was breaking the ice, the second stage will be more routine….

Part of [the breakthrough] was because talking to the US was a taboo. That taboo could not be easily broken and nuclear talks could not move ahead without the US.

Rafsanjani was a leading proponent in recent months of the line of engagement with Washington, adopted by his protégé President Rouhani.

The former President declared, “The limitations set by international laws are acceptable to us. The Non-Proliferation Treaty is acceptable to us. Anything more than that would be considered imposed on us.”

Nuclear Deal Boosts Iran Oil Exports Through Relaxed Sanctions on Insurance

Reuters complements our analysis of the significance of the sanctions relief in Sunday’s interim nuclear agreement.

See Iran Special: Why This Interim Nuclear Deal Is Far Bigger Than You Think

The agreement refers to easing of sanctions on shipping insurance as well as the lifting of the ban on the transfer of gold and precious metals to Iran.

In July 2012, the European Union barred insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil, contributing the reduction in Tehran’s exports of crude of more than 50%.

The constriction was reinforced by measures against the financial sector and, in February 2013, the American ban on gold transfers. Countries such as Turkey were using the gold to pay for Iranian oil and natural gas.

The White House insisted on Sunday:

In the next six months, Iran’s crude oil sales cannot

Under this first step, the EU crude oil ban will remain in
effect and Iran will be held to approximately 1 million bpd in
sales, resulting in continuing lost sales worth an additional $4
billion per month, every month, going forward.

However, a “senior Western official” confirmed that some relaxation of the EU’s sanctions was in the interim deal.