Six world powers and Iran have negotiated a deal that at least temporarily brings a halt to Iran's controversial nuclear program and eases economic sanctions.
The six-month pact give negotiators time to design a more comprehensive solution to the decade-long standoff Tehran has had with the West over its
U.S. President Barack Obama said late Saturday in Washington that diplomacy has opened up a "new path toward a world that is more secure."
Mr. Obama said if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, the U.S. will "turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Geneva, said the ultimate goal of the deal is to reach a "comprehensive" agreement with Iran. He said, however, the "core sanctions architecture" remains firmly in place for the next six months.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the deal is an "opportunity to end an unnecessary crisis." He said the agreement is also an opportunity to remove "doubts about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."
For the U.S. and its five partners - Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - the chief concern is uranium enrichment, which can be used to power nuclear reactors, but can also serve as the fissile core of warheads.
The six international partners want to 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.
Iran has also agreed to unprecedented inspection to ensure compliance.
In return, the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany will provide limited, temporary, targeted and reversible relief to Iran. Major sanctions, including the key oil, banking and financial sanctions will remain in place.