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Sanctions to remain until Iran implements nuclear deal, says Steinmeier

German FM Steinmeier says sanctions on Tehran will remain until Iran shows it is implementing a recent nuclear deal. The remark follows the Guardian Council's ratification of the deal, effectively making it Iranian law.

During a diplomatic tour of the Middle East, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday that sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program will remain in place until Tehran implements the agreement.

"That definitely won't be the case before the end of January," Steinmeier told reporters on the first day of the nuclear deal's implementation.

Iran and world powers - comprising the EU, Germany and permanent members of the UN Security Council - struck a historic deal in July that would curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions that have crippled the Islamic republic's economy.

"Now the question is whether Iran shows that it can fulfill its commitments," Steinmeier said.

The German foreign minister added that the Islamic republic needed to show that it is dismantling centrifuges used to enrich uranium and destroying enriched material, which is a key requisite of the agreement.

Deal becomes law

On Wednesday, Iran's Guardian Council ratified the agreement, meaning the deal effectively becomes law in the country.

The constitutionally mandated Guardian Council - comprising 12 jurists appointed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and parliament - said the deal did not go against Islamic jurisprudence or the constitution.

Iran has consistently denied that its nuclear program is aimed at building an atomic weapon.

However, sanctions were imposed on the Islamic republic after Tehran restricted UN inspections and Western intelligence allegedly showed Iran was researching how to build a nuclear bomb.

On Sunday, US President Barack Obama ordered the government to "take all appropriate additional measures to ensure the prompt and effective implementation of the US commitments set forth" in the nuclear deal.

ls/tj (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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