TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The latest developments as Iran and world powers implement a landmark deal reached last year to curb Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions (all times local).
Germany’s economy minister says that reviving economic and financial ties with Iran will take time.
Western sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program were lifted after the U.N. nuclear agency certified Saturday that Tehran had met all of its commitments under last year’s landmark agreement with world powers.
Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, said in a statement Sunday that the move offers “the chance to open a new chapter in German-Iranian economic relations.”
But he added that “the revival of German-Iranian economic, and especially financial, relations is a long-term process.”
Gabriel plans to chair a meeting of a German-Iranian economic commission in Tehran in May.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israeli would monitor the Iranian nuclear deal closely to ensure that Iran was not violating its commitments.
Speaking at his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, “The Israel policy remains as it was — not to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
Netanyahu was a strong public opponent of the negotiations and drew the ire of the Obama administration by speaking in front of the U.S. Congress in an attempt to prevent the agreement. On Sunday he repeated his contention that the deal will strengthen and embolden Tehran, leading to greater regional instability.
“What is clear is that Iran will now have more resources to dedicate to their terrorism and aggression in the region and in the world, and Israel is prepared to deal with any threat,” he said.
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has presented parliament with a draft budget that would reduce the government’s reliance on oil revenues. The budget plans for an economic windfall as international economic sanctions against Iran end as part of a landmark nuclear deal.
The $75 billion budget, unveiled Sunday, is about 4.2 percent higher than the previous year’s budget of $72 billion.
Oil revenues will make up less than 25 percent of the proposed budget for the next Iranian calendar year that begins March 21, down from 33 percent the previous year.
The proposed budget predicts an exchange rate of $1 U.S. dollar to 29,970 Iranian rials. The rial is currently 36,000 to $1. It also put oil prices at $40 per barrel.
Iran also separately budgets some $190 billion for hundreds of government banks and companies.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the official implementation Saturday of the landmark deal reached between Tehran and six world powers has satisfied all parties except radical extremists.