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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
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.


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