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

    Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory

    Kizza Besigye says he has been drawing large crowds and claims he has widespred support ahead of Feb. 18 vote

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Sanctions Just Got Real for Over 54,000 North Koreans

    Shuttering of Kaesong complex ends virtually any hope of peaceful settlement to long-standing tensions on Korean peninsula in near future

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.