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Iran Envoy Says Nuclear Freeze To Start By January

Iran's envoy to the UN atomic watchdog says Tehran will start implementing a six-month freeze of its nuclear program agreed with world powers by early January.

Reza Najafi, Iran's representative at the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Iran and the agency are engaged in "preliminary discussions" on the implementation of the deal.

The agreement struck on November 24 between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany -- foresees Iran scaling down some of its nuclear program temporarily in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran has pledged to limit uranium enrichment to low fissile purity, which cannot be converted into weapons-grade material.

It will also lower the purity of its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, and will not commission the Arak heavy-water reactor, which could produce plutonium.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa