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US poised to lift sanctions on Iran under nuclear deal

The US appears poised to lift at least some sanctions against Iran, possibly as early as January.

Secretary of State John Kerry said in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Iran is fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear agreement in what he calls a "transparent" and "verifiable" way, and that "suspension of sanctions ... is appropriate".

The letter also says Iran has not engaged in covert activities that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons programme.

The committee's top Democrat, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, said at a hearing on Thursday that it appears that sanctions relief could start as early as January, not in the spring as first expected.

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