'Today Marks the Day of a Safer World' Atomic agency chief: Iran has met nuclear deal obligations By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Jan 16, 2016 3:28 PM CST 142 comments Comments U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, 2nd right, in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, on what is expected to be "implementation day,"... (Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP) (Newser) – The UN nuclear agency certified Saturday that Iran has met all of its commitments under last summer's landmark nuclear deal, crowning years of US-led efforts to crimp Iran's ability to make atomic weapons. For Iran, the move lifts Western economic sanctions that have been in place for years, unlocking access to $100 billion in frozen assets and unleashing new opportunities for its battered economy. Secretary of State John Kerry and the top diplomats of Iran and the European Union hailed the accord, reached after years of setbacks and a full decade after the start of international diplomacy aimed at reducing the possibility that Tehran could turn its nuclear programs to make atomic arms. And Kerry linked the trust built between Iran and the United States over the past two years of talks to the breakthrough release by Iran Saturday of four Americans who also hold Iranian nationality. "Today marks the day of a safer world," he declared. In Washington, President Barack Obama signed executive orders lifting economic sanctions on Iran, while Kerry who led the last years of negotiations with Zarif that culminated in the July 14 deal, confirmed that the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency could verify that "Iran has fully implemented its required commitments." "Relations between Iran and the IAEA now enter a new phase," said IAEA director general Yukiya Amano. "It is an important day for the international community."