Focus shits on sanctions after Iran Geneva deal
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles as he speaks to the media at the International Conference Centre of Geneva in Geneva - (Reuters)

Days after six major world powers struck a nuclear deal with Iran in Geneva, the focus is shifting to the easing of economic sanctions on Tehran.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who took a tough stance during the Geneva negotiations, has hinted that the EU might lift some of its restrictions as early as December 2013.

"We have agreed to ease a certain number of sanctions, [which] could begin in a few weeks" Fabius told Europe One Radio.

"We have a meeting of foreign affairs ministers coming up. Based on a plan by [EU foreign policy chief] Catherine Ashton, who has our support, we are proposing lifting sanctions, but in a limited, targeted and reversible way. It's the same on the American side."

Marathon talks in Geneva led to a landmark interim deal between Iran and P5+1 powers, comprising the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, in which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

A raft of sanctions orchestrated by the UN, the US and EU are currently in place against Iran as the western world fears Tehran is using its nuclear programme to make weapons.

According to US estimates, the latest deal could ease up to $7bn worth economic sanctions, including unblocking $4.2bn of Iranian oil sales revenue from frozen accounts and $1bn from petrochemical sales.

"The focus for the coming weeks has to be swift implementation," a western diplomat told the Guardian.

However, Iran's regional opponents such as Israel and Saudi Arabia remain wary of the deal. While Israel has bluntly rejected the interim agreement, Saudi Arabia has only cautiously welcomed it.

Israel is also sending a team of top delegates, led by the country's national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, to Washington to discuss the aftermath of the deal.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an address to his party members: "I spoke last night with President [Barack] Obama. We agreed that in the coming days an Israeli team led by the national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, will go out to discuss with the United States the permanent accord with Iran.

"This accord must bring about one outcome: the dismantling of Iran's military nuclear capability."

Obama's Stress on Diplomacy

However Barack Obama has hailed the pact, saying the doors of diplomacy should always be open to solve the world's problems.

"We cannot commit ourselves to an endless cycle of violence, and tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it's not the right thing for our security," Obama said in a public address.