Iran suspends 20% uranium enrichment as historic deal implemented

FILE - A worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran.
Iran has started halting uranium enrichment to 20 percent and has begun down-blending uranium enriched to higher levels, the state-run Fars news agency reports.
Iran has begun halting its most sensitive nuclear enrichment activity as an agreement with world powers reached in November goes into effect Monday.
The United Nations nuclear agency said in a report that Iran disabled centrifuges at its Natanz and Fordo nuclear facilities that were used to enrich uranium to 20 percent.
The agreement with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany limits Iran\’s enrichment to no more than five percent, and requires the government to reduce its current stock of higher-enriched uranium.
In exchange, the United States and European Union will ease sanctions that have squeezed Iran\’s economy.
Iran and the P5+1, made up of the  US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, will soon begin talks on a long-term comprehensive accord.
The agreement lasts for six months. The two sides will use that time to continue negotiating on a long-term deal to address fears that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.
Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is purely for generating electricity and carrying out medical research.
Source: VOA and agencies
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