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Iran, 6 powers agree to implement nuclear accord from Jan. 20


Iran and six major powers on Sunday agreed that their accord reached last year on curtailing Tehran's nuclear activities will be implemented from Jan. 20.

The agreement on the implementation date was disclosed by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, according to Iran's official IRNA news agency.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement that he has "no illusions about how hard it will be" to achieve the objective of the earlier accord, but added that "for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed."

European Union negotiator Catherine Ashton said in a statement that the "foundations for a coherent, robust and smooth implementation" have been laid.

The accord reached last November between Iran and the six countries -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- requires Iran to stop uranium enrichment above a fissile purity of 5 percent and halt construction of its Arak heavy-water reactor, which could yield plutonium.

In return, the six countries will remove the precious metals trade embargo on Iran, while refraining from imposing new sanctions for six months.