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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid