Iran stalls nuclear programme in EU deal
Iran halted the most sensitive element of its nuclear programme yesterday, stopping the enrichment of uranium to a level close to weapons grade in compliance with last November's Geneva agreement.
At the same time, European Union foreign ministers lifted sanctions on Iran's gold, petrochemicals and precious metal industries. The reciprocal moves ended a decade of confrontation during which Iran's nuclear programme constantly expanded and international sanctions became ever tighter.
In the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran's scientists stopped enriching uranium to the 20pc purity that is one jump away from weapons grade. The IAEA confirmed that centrifuges being used for this purpose were shut down at the enrichment plants.
This fulfils the first stage of the Geneva agreement, which aims to freeze Iran's nuclear programme for six months, starting from yesterday, in order to allow time for a final settlement. (© Daily Telegraph, London)