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Iran to freeze parts of nuclear programme from Jan 20

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif speaking on January 4 as the deal was being negotiated.

Iran will begin to freeze part of its nuclear programme in return for the sanctions relief from January 20.

The deal, agreed between Iran and world powers after months of negotiation led by the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, is hinged on Iran curbing its enrichment of uranium.

Officials have another six months from January 20 to agree a final settlement about the activity the West suspects is aimed at obtaining nuclear weapons capability.

Hague: Implementation of Iran deal is 'an important step'

William Hague has hailed implementation of an interim deal to freeze Iran's nuclear programme.The Foreign Secretary said the agreement coming into force was an "important step" in settling the differences between the Middle East and international powers.

The entry into force of this agreement on January 20 is an important step towards peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, on which comprehensive negotiations will now start.

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US: Iran will not receive full benefits until deal ends

The United States said that although sanction relief will begin immediately the full benefits will not be released until the deal reaches its end.

The United States and the rest of our P5+1 partners will also take steps, in response to Iran fulfilling its commitments, to begin providing some limited and targeted relief.

The $4.2 billion in restricted Iranian assets that Iran will gain access to as part of the agreement will be released in regular installments throughout the six months.

The final installment will not be available to Iran until the very last day.

– US State Department

Iran nuclear deal start date announced

An interim nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and Iran will start on 20th January, the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

Ashton represents the six nations - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - in diplomatic contacts with Iran related to the nuclear standoff.

She said the sides would now ask the United Nations' nuclear watchdog to verify the deal's implementation.

"We will ask the IAEA to undertake the necessary nuclear-related monitoring and verification activities," she said.

Under the agreement, Iran has promised to curb its most sensitive nuclear activities in return for some relief from Western economic sanctions.

Truck carrying radioactive material 'stolen in Mexico'

Mexico has issued a public alert after a truck carrying potentially "extremely dangerous" radioactive material was stolen on Monday, according to Mexican authorities.

The vehicle was carrying cobalt-60 from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a waste storage site.

A statement from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said:

At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged.

The Mexican authorities are currently conducting a search for the source and have issued a press release to alert the public.

– iaea statement

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Hague warns Israel ‘not to undermine Iran deal'

Foreign Secretary William Hague has discouraged Israel from taking any steps to undermine the interim nuclear deal with Iran.

William Hague

"We would discourage anybody in the world, including Israel, from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement and we will make that very clear to all concerned," Hague told parliament.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the nuclear deal with Iran "an historic mistake" and said it has "made the world a much more dangerous place".

Hague: Core sanctions will remain in place

Foreign Secretary William Hague says core sanctions on Iran will remain in place. These include sanctions against the Iranian Central Bank, US trade restrictions, all UN Security Council sanctions and restricted access to its foreign assets.

Most importantly, the EU ban on Iran's crude oil will also remain in place. For Iran, this means loss of sales worth about $4 billion (£2.5 billion) per month.

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