GENEVA (AP) — The French and Iranian foreign ministers said early Sunday that a deal between six world powers and Iran has been struck that curbs, or limits Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Yes, we have a deal,” as he walked past media reporters who were crowding the hotel lobby where formal continuous negotiations had taken place over the past five days.
When asked by media reporters in attendance if there was a deal, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said `’Yes” and gave reporters a thumbs up.
The goal of the negotiations was to outline the framework of an Iran agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear program for six months, while offering the Iranians limited relief from what was just now becoming crippling economic sanctions for the regime. If the interim deal maintains lasting power, the parties involved will negotiate the final-stage Iran agreement to ensure Iran does not build nuclear weapons.
The deal only came after a personal intervention by Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as other foreign ministers whose stature had raised hopes for a breakthrough in what was a stalled effort.
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Diplomats refused to spell out details of the Iran agreement or negotiations that transpired up until and past midnight, finally concluding early Sunday.
People’s Pundit Daily previously reported on the inner working of the deal, and the administrations effort to delay sanction implementation to move the negotiations along.
Unfortunately, diplomats intimately familiar with the efforts to reach the Iran agreement refused to give the media details. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, characterized the talks as being in “their 11th hour,” with most issues resolved.
Nearly a decade of failed international efforts to halt Iran’s expanding nuclear program has led up to this moment for better or worse. The Iranian regime has held, despite all evidence to the contrary, its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and no motive is held that would lead to building nuclear weapons.
After September’s annual U.N. meeting a 15-minute phone conversation between Obama and Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, was the first time the two nations’ leaders had communicated directly after three decades of U.S.-Iranian silence.
The six world powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — were seeking to halt expansion of Iran’s enrichment program, including an end to enriching to a level that can be turned into warhead material within a matter of weeks.
The powers were aiming to increase oversight of Tehran’s nuclear program, which already consists of a reactor that can and will produce plutonium when completed. Just as thecae with enriched uranium, plutonium can arm nuclear warheads.
In return for these demands, the six world powers were offering Iran gradual and limited sanctions relief over a six month duration, which hinged upon Iran’s behavior and compliance. According to the framework, sanctions on oil exports and financial transactions — the most severe penalties — will be kept in place until a final deal is achieved after those six months, which is supposedly able to permanently reduce the dangers of proliferation from Iran’s nuclear activities.
Around 10:35 PM ET, President Obama addressed the American people at a press conference, stating that he has simultaneously been committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and coming to this Iran agreement.
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“For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted key parts of Iran’s nuclear program,” Obama said. They must halt their centrifuges and current ones must be limited.
“These are substantial limitations,” Obama claimed. “Because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations to advance their nuclear program.”
The pressure caused by the most crippling sanctions will be minimized by relief provided through the deal, however. The president said that they will ensure Iran’s nuclear program will be for peaceful purposes.
There has been no response as of yet from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who just last week criticized the administration for accepting what he called “a bad deal” regarding the framework of the Iran agreement.