Iran will start the process of scaling back its nuclear program on January 20, the White House said on Sunday. An interim agreement signed by the country and six other world powers will require that parts of the program be halted or scaled back over six months. During that period, officials will work together to come to a more comprehensive and long-term accord.
Said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement, "As of that day, for the first time in almost a decade, Iran's nuclear program will not be able to advance, and parts of it will be rolled back, while we start negotiating a comprehensive agreement to address the international community's concerns about Iran's program."
The deal was first struck back in November, when officials from the U.S., Iran, the U.K., China, Russia, France, and Germany came together to negotiate a nuclear-arms deal in the Middle-Eastern country. However, a start date was not announced until this week because of disagreements over the deal's wording. Three more meetings were held to hash out the specifics of the program.
The big highlight of the accord is Iran's imperative to stop enriching uranium and to get rid of the military-grade enriched uranium it already has. In exchange, the U.S. will ease some economic sanctions in Iran over the next half-year, after which there will theoretically be a new agreement in place. Iran must also stop building centrifuges, detroy some of the infrastructure that makes uranium enrichment possible, and agree to be monitored by the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency if it wants the promised economic relief.