News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Deal Sealed After Decades-Long Dispute

Iran Nuclear Deal Sealed After Decade-Long Disputei
X
November 24, 2013 12:54 PM
Iranian and international negotiators capped nearly a decade of dispute over Iran's nuclear program early Sunday, reaching agreement on first steps to curtail it and to ease economic sanctions. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from Geneva where the accord was reached after four days of marathon high-level negotiations.
Iran Nuclear Deal Sealed After Decade-Long Dispute
Al Pessin
Iranian and international negotiators have reached agreement on first steps to curtail Iran's nuclear program and ease economic sanctions, after four days of marathon high-level negotiations in Geneva that ended after 2 o'clock Sunday morning.

The foreign ministers of six of the world's most powerful countries stood side-by-side with their Iranian counterpart and the European Union's foreign policy chief to announce the accord, followed by handshakes and hugs all around.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, third from left, delivers statement during ceremony marking deal between Iran, six world powers, United Nations, Geneva, Nov. 23, 2013.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, third from left, delivers statement during ceremony marking deal between Iran, six world powers, United Nations, Geneva, Nov. 23, 2013.
x
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, third from left, delivers statement during ceremony marking deal between Iran, six world powers, United Nations, Geneva, Nov. 23, 2013.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, third from left, delivers statement during ceremony marking deal between Iran, six world powers, United Nations, Geneva, Nov. 23, 2013.
This first-stage agreement, capping decades of dispute over Iran's nuclear program, came at the end of four days of what diplomats called “very tough” negotiations. The foreign ministers of all six nations of the U.N. Security Council's contact group flew in on short notice to seal the deal, from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

A key dispute that delayed the agreement was over Iran's claim to a right to enrich uranium, which the United States says does not exist for any country.  Secretary Kerry says there is no such right in the agreement.

“This first step does not say that Iran has a right to enrichment," said Kerry. "No matter what interpretive comments are made, it is not in this document.”

At a news conference, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke passionately about the right to enrich. But his phrasing indicated that the agreement recognizes Iran's program, but not any right.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Palais in Geneva, Nov. 24, 2013.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Palais in Geneva, Nov. 24, 2013.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Palais in Geneva, Nov. 24, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Palais in Geneva, Nov. 24, 2013.
Zarif said, “Many times, at least twice very explicitly this recognition is there that Iran will have an enrichment program. And we believe that to be our right and we are exercising that right and we only require respect for that right.”

According to a U.S. summary of the accord, Iran will have to destroy its entire stockpile of near weapons grade uranium, stop production of even lower enriched uranium, stop construction and installation of centrifuges used to enrich uranium, and freeze construction of a new reactor that could produce plutonium, another nuclear bomb fuel. The summary says Iran also agreed to unprecedented inspections to ensure compliance.

In return, the United States says the international community will not impose any new economic sanctions for the six-month duration of the accord, and will suspend some sanctions on gold and some other precious metals, Iran's auto industry and its petrochemical exports.

The main sanctions, on Iran's oil exports and its financial sector will remain in place.

At London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, Iran watcher and nonproliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick says what is important now is for the two sides to faithfully implement the preliminary agreement.

“Implementing it will show that they both mean what they say," said Firzpatrick. "It'll be very important that the two sides carry it out so that both sides can show their doubters - and both sides have real skeptics and doubters - that the other side can strike a deal and keep to it.”

But skeptics in Tehran and Washington are only part of the problem. Others, including the Israeli government and Gulf Arab states, say Iran may not accept any further limits on its nuclear program once it has the initial sanctions relief.

U.S. officials say the incentive to work on the next and final agreement will continue because the most damaging sanctions will remain in place. At the International Crisis Group, Iran analyst Ali Vaez agrees.

“Iran will have the motivation to come back and negotiate the comprehensive agreement, which is much more difficult to negotiate and would require much more painful concessions,” said Vaez.

Those concessions, and potentially, an end to all nuclear-related sanctions, are to come in continuing negotiations with a six-month deadline, but as “tough” as diplomats say these talks were, the next round is expected to be even tougher.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Change Iran Now from: USA
November 24, 2013 10:26 PM

The full implementation of Security Council resolutions, particularly the complete halt to uranium enrichment, agreeing to the Additional Protocol, and the IAEA inspectors’ unhindered access to suspected nuclear centers and facilities are essential for the regime to abandon nuclear weapons. Any leniency, hesitancy and concessions by the international community will prompt Khamenei to once again move towards manufacturing nuclear weapons through deception and cheating.

by: 79 in your face from: Iran
November 24, 2013 9:52 AM
It doesn't matter now what Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries think... its over for them. soon Iran will get the bomb and than we will see. Now we know that the "fearsome American dog" has been muzzled. Israel will never attack without an American say so... so now, all the rest can go to hell.

by: N. Holenbrook from: UK
November 24, 2013 9:44 AM
hey what did I tell you about France..?? despicable.
All that the Iranian clerics wanted is to secure their own survival. And Obama, instead of ridding the world of this revolting filth of evil theocratic menace, has secured their survival... to the detriment of all of us and of the poor Iranian imbeciles - by the way, the Iranian citizenry is considered imbecilic by the Iranian clerics... really!!!
its amazing that the Iranians will defend a fascist regime that considers them to be absolute imbeciles ...

by: Dr. V. S. from: MSU Russia
November 24, 2013 9:13 AM
The US has just guaranteed the survival of one of the most despicable fascistic regimes in history. If the Saudis are smart (yeah, I know...) they will find some passage in their Koran that compel them to make peace with Israel; such that a combination of their incredible wealth could be combined with the brain power of Israeli might to convert this silly Iranian diplomatic victory into ashes in the Iranians mouth. We all know, and Putin above all, that this "agreement" like the rest of Obama is hollow, and Israel's skepticism of its viability will be proved correct...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs