Tehran: Iran will implement in around four months’ time the landmark nuclear deal agreed with major world powers, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said here on Wednesday.
“We will take the measures required of us and the other side will do its part,” Zarif said. “It will take around four months,” he added.
Under the deal reached on Tuesday in Vienna, Iran agreed to limit its controversial nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of crippling international sanctions.
The final round of talks in Vienna involved nearly three weeks of intense negotiation between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Zarif.
Sanctions will be lifted once the UN atomic watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) vouches that Iran has implemented the Vienna deal and scaled back its sensitive nuclear activity.
Billions of dollars of Iran’s assets will be unfrozen when the deal starts to be implemented, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.
Under the deal, bans or restrictions on economic cooperations with Iran will be lifted in all sectors including investment on oil and gas, aviation, the central bank, shipping and civil aviation, IRNA said.
Six world powers including Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany have been negotiating with Iran over its nuclear programme since 2006. (IANS/AKI)
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran have pledged to increase cooperation and information-sharing for effectively combating the trafficking of Afghan opiates.
War-shattered Afghanistan remains the world’s largest producer of opium, though the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime noted in its latest survey the opium cultivation decreased by 20 percent in 2018 due to a severe drought and reduced prices.
The illegal opiates are largely smuggled to international markets through Pakistan and Iran.
Need for more initiatives
Afghan, Pakistan and Iranian counternarcotics officials concluded their two-day UNODC-facilitated interaction Wednesday in Islamabad, where delegates underscored the need for more efforts against the massive flow of illicit drugs.
Participants at the “Triangular Initiative” meeting called for timely sharing of information and conducting simultaneously interdiction operations along their shared largely porous borders.
The forum was established in 2007 with a mission to promote regional cooperation to reduce the poppy cultivation, trafficking, and consumption of drugs in the region and beyond.
Officials acknowledged that despite Afghanistan’s political tensions with Pakistan and Iran anti-drugs cooperation largely continues.
Cesar Guedes, UNODC representative in Pakistan, noted the three countries attended the Islamabad meeting with “a revived attitude and role”, raising prospects for more effective counternarcotics efforts in 2019.
“More needs to be done because the level of [Afghan opium] production has also increased. They need really to coordinate closer in their joint efforts,” he told VOA
Guedes also called for increased international assistance, saying Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran alone cannot curb the menace of drugs.
“This has to be done in the framework of shared responsibility. All the countries, producers, consumers and transit need to join the effort,” he said.
Despite many challenges facing the government, the head of the Afghan delegation said authorities have taken significant steps to eradicate drug trafficking.
Director General for Policy Planing at the Afghan Ministry of Narcotics, Mohammad Osman Frotan, said 89 percent of poppy cultivation this year has taken place in the Afghan provinces most hit by insurgent activities. He said counternarcotics authorities during 2018 have seized more than 433 tons of different types of drugs, and arrested and prosecuted almost 4,000 suspects.
The United States has spent more than $8 billion in the past 17 years to assist Afghanistan in eradication efforts. But the effort has failed to stop opium production, which increased to record highs and stood at an estimated 9,000 tons in 2017. Critics blamed insecurity, rampant corruption and patronage by influential Afghans for the unprecedented growth. (VOA)