Iran and six world powers reached a deal on Tehran’s Uranium enrichment program. Iran agreed to halt enrichment above 5% and grant daily inspections for the next six months in its nuclear plants in exchange of a limited sanctions relief. The deal obtained in Geneva on Sunday between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia and China after more than four days of negotiations is a first step towards a more comprehensive solution to the Iranian crisis.

Israel reacted negatively to the news with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that

“what was achieved last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement; it is a historic mistake.”

Netanyahu said that the agreement endangers “many countries including, of course, Israel.”

“Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. As Prime Minister of Israel, I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability,” he added.

US President Obama delivered immediately a statement praising the deal in which he stressed his “determination to prevent Iran from obtain a nuclear weapon” and his “strong preference” to “resolve this issue peacefully”. After speaking about the diplomatic efforts since the Rouhani election as President in Iran he said that “today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure – a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.” And added that “while today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal.”

Here is Obama’s full statement in which he explains the terms of the agreement:

Today, the United States — together with our close allies and partners — took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.

Since I took office, I’ve made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  As I’ve said many times, my strong preference is to resolve this issue peacefully, and we’ve extended the hand of diplomacy.  Yet for many years, Iran has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community.  So my administration worked with Congress, the United Nations Security Council and countries around the world to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government.

These sanctions have had a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, and with the election of a new Iranian President earlier this year, an opening for diplomacy emerged.  I spoke personally with President Rouhani of Iran earlier this fall.  Secretary Kerry has met multiple times with Iran’s Foreign Minister.  And we have pursued intensive diplomacy — bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5-plus-1 partners — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.

While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled backWhile today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.  Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles.  Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used for enriching uranium.  Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited.  Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor.  And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments.

These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.  Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.  Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.  Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program.  And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program.

Because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program.On our side, the United States and our friends and allies have agreed to provide Iran with modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions.  We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions.  But the broader architecture of sanctions will remain in place and we will continue to enforce them vigorously.  And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure.

Over the next six months, we will work to negotiate a comprehensive solution.  We approach these negotiations with a basic understanding:  Iran, like any nation, should be able to access peaceful nuclear energy.  But because of its record of violating its obligations, Iran must accept strict limitations on its nuclear program that make it impossible to develop a nuclear weapon.

In these negotiations, nothing will be agreed to unless everything is agreed to.  The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes.

If Iran seizes this opportunity, the Iranian people will benefit from rejoining the international community, and we can begin to chip away at the mistrust between our two nations.If Iran seizes this opportunity, the Iranian people will benefit from rejoining the international community, and we can begin to chip away at the mistrust between our two nations.  This would provide Iran with a dignified path to forge a new beginning with the wider world based on mutual respect.  If, on the other hand, Iran refuses, it will face growing pressure and isolation.

Over the last few years, Congress has been a key partner in imposing sanctions on the Iranian government, and that bipartisan effort made possible the progress that was achieved today.  Going forward, we will continue to work closely with Congress.  However, now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions -– because doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies and risk unraveling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place.

Iran must know that security and prosperity will never come through the pursuit of nuclear weaponsThat international unity is on display today.  The world is united in support of our determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  Iran must know that security and prosperity will never come through the pursuit of nuclear weapons — it must be reached through fully verifiable agreements that make Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons impossible.

As we go forward, the resolve of the United States will remain firm, as will our commitments to our friends and allies –- particularly Israel and our Gulf partners, who have good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions.

I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict.Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program.  As President and Commander-in-Chief, I will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  But I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict.  Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it.

The first step that we’ve taken today marks the most significant and tangible progress that we’ve made with Iran since I took office.  And now we must use the months ahead to pursue a lasting and comprehensive settlement that would resolve an issue that has threatened our security — and the security of our allies — for decades.  It won’t be easy, and huge challenges remain ahead.  But through strong and principled diplomacy, the United States of America will do our part on behalf of a world of greater peace, security, and cooperation among nations.

Iran has agree to:

  • Halt Uranium enrichment above 5 per cent.
  • Dismantle technical connections required to enrich above 5 per cent.
  • Not install additional centrifuges of any type.
  • Not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich Uranium.
  • Not construct additional enrichment facilities.
  • Not commission or fuel Arak reactor.
  • Provide daily access to IAEA inspectors at Natanz and Fordow sites.
  • Provide IAEA access to centrifuge assembly facilities, centrifuge rotor component production and storage facilities.
  • Provide design information for the Arak reactor.
 The world powers subscribing the have agree to:
  • Not impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months
  • Suspend certain sanctions on gold and precious metals, auto sector and petrochemical exports, potentially providing Iran approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.
  • Allow purchases of Iranian oil to remain at their current levels.
  • License safety-related repairs and inspections inside Iran for certain Iranian airlines.
  • Allow $400m in governmental tuition assistance to be transferred from restricted Iranian funds directly to recognised educational institutions in third countries to defray the tuition costs of Iranian students.

Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. What are you personal thoughts on this development?

  2. I think a diplomatic approach is always good. Better than its contrary. A pity there was no way to reach a deal before. If Iran agree to have daily inspections in its facilities that will help to answer a lot of questions. Let’s see now how will behave both sides in this next six months before the next step happens. I’m afraid of Israel, now isolated in this matter.They have now six months to pressure on the US, but Obama appeared convinced on what he’s doing. Why to reach an agreement now? They have a new president but their Supreme Leader didn’t change and I doubt his goals on Iran’s nuclear power plants changed since the last elections. The change happened therefore in the so-called world powers. Maybe they saw an opportunity with Rouhani new style and dialog offer to negotiate and tray to end a long standoff. I don’t know if it’s related with the Iran involvement as Syrian allied and the efforts to convene a Geneva II peace conference in which Iran wants to take part. As you see, a lot of questions.

  3. Hmmm…interesting. I hope Iran behaves and Israel also comes to realize negotiations are a better choice than force. Iran is a powerful country and using force would not have been an ideal choice.
    On the contrary, I think it’s sort of hypocritical when the US has a nuclear plant itself and wants Iran to relinquish theirs. It does raise doubts in my mind. Why Iran? Why does Israel think it is endangered? If it is a matter of being attacked then there are other countries with nuclear weapons to, so Israel should still be scared. Also, there are doubts that Israel has undeclared nuclear weapons. In that case, Israel’s fear of Iran’s nuclear program is questionable. The other countries have set an example of keeping peace even with the nuclear program. Isn’t that the whole idea? I am still pessimistic about the whole agreement, not just from Iran’s point of view but also from Israel and the US’s. There are definitely some ulterior motives.
    If it is about peace then all these countries should also relinquish their nuclear weapons and have themselves checked on a timely basis like Iran. Then it would be fair and square.

  4. I agree. I think is time for the world to know what Israel has. But they are always protected by the US veto in the UN Security Council and there’s no way a resolution to inspect their facilities will succeed. All the permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto rights are nuclear powers and they are ruling the world. The best policy would be to declare nuclear weapons illegal like they did with chemical weapons, and order their destruction. But that right now is an impossible dream, because nuclear powers are deciding and no nuclear power is ready to destroy its arsenals knowing there are others outside the “club” with nuclear bombs declared or undeclared like – you said allegedly – Israel.

  5. Precisely, which is part of the reason I am surprised and doubtful at Iran’s agreement for cooperation. And also part of the reason I find US and P5’s dedication to suppress Iran’s nuclear ambitions questionable, especially when there are other issue to focus on.

  6. Now they are setting a date for the Peace Conference on Syria. I don’t know. Too many things going on at the same time in Geneva.

Comments are closed.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

Category

Americas, Asia, Dialog and diplomacy, Europe, Middle East, World and Politics

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,