Iran to eliminate enriched uranium starting January 20

Iran will begin eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium on January 20 as part of an agreement to implement the Joint Plan of Action, President Barack Obama said on Sunday.

The agreement between Iran and the P5+1 will implement the the November Joint Plan of Action. Obama said the agreement marked the first time in a decade that Iran will roll back key parts of its nuclear program while halting the program's progress.

Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium, dismantle some of its infrastructure that makes the enrichment possible, limit its enrichment capacity and allow for new and more frequent inspections of its nuclear sites.

"Iran has agreed to limit its enrichment capability by not installing or starting up additional centrifuges or using next-generation centrifuges," Obama said. "New and more frequent inspections of Iran's nuclear sites will allow the world to verify that Iran is keeping its commitments. Taken together, these and other steps will advance our goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

In return for Iran's actions, the U.S., U.K. France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union will implement modest relief as long as Iran fulfills its obligations and the countries pursue a comprehensive solution to the Iran nuclear issue. Obama said the U.S. will continue to enforce the broader sanctions regime and will increase sanctions if Iran fails to meet its obligations.

"Unprecedented sanctions and tough diplomacy helped to bring Iran to the negotiating table, and I'm grateful to our partners in Congress who share our goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," Obama said. "Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation."

Obama said that while it will be difficult for the world to resolve the Iran nuclear issue, he said it was time to give diplomacy the opportunity to succeed.