Washington: US President Barack Obama on Saturday signed an executive order to lift sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear program, the White House said. "Iran's implementation of the nuclear-related measures ..., as verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency, marks a fundamental shift in circumstances with respect to Iran's nuclear program," Obama said in the executive order issued by the White House.
Obama's decision came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Iran's compliance of the historic nuclear deal reached last summer, Xinhua reported. In a statement, Yukiya Amano, the director general of the IAEA, said that "agency inspectors on the ground verified that Iran has carried out all measures required under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to enable implementation day to occur," referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reached by Iran and the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. In Vienna, US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the step as a vindication of diplomacy, saying "we have also proven once again why diplomacy must be our first choice and war a last resort. " "Iran has undertaken significant steps that many, and I do mean many, people doubted would ever come to pass," he said, adding that "today marks the first day of a safer world." On Saturday, US House Speaker Paul Ryan vigorously denounced the nuclear deal, vowing that lawmakers would "do everything possible" to prevent Tehran from getting the atomic bomb.