Milestone Iran Nuclear Deal Reached

Interim accord halts Iran's nuclear weaponization in exchange for limited sanctions relief

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Top diplomats from Iran and six major world powers said early Sunday that an agreement has been reached in Geneva to temporarily freeze the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchange for a relief in sanctions which have crippled its economy.

The agreement between the Islamic Republic, United States, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain marks the first time in more than a decade that Iran has agreed to curtail elements of its nuclear program.

The interim deal is not the final word on Iran’s nuclear program—the country’s leaders said Sunday that Iran has the right to enrichment—but instead one that will last for six months. During that period, the negotiators will aim for a comprehensive deal that would significantly scale back its nuclear program and ensure that its remaining power could only be used peacefully.

A senior Obama Administration official told TIME the deal would halt the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, including the heavy-water reactor at Arak. The official added Iran is still not recognized as having the right to enrich uranium. In a preliminary fact sheet provided by the White House, the agreement stipulates that Iran will commit to halting its enrichment above 5 percent, neutralize its stockpile of uranium that’s enriched to 20 percent—just shy of weapons-grade—and provide inspectors access to its facilities. In return, the sanctions relief will be “limited, temporary, targeted and reversible.” An overwhelming majority of the sanctions will remain in place.

For four days, the diplomats participated in marathon negotiations to overcome differences and form a deal that would halt the weaponization of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions. At nearly 3:00am local time, news of the accord was announced in a flurry of messages on social media.

In a speech after the deal’s announcement, President Barack Obama, who has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a top foreign policy goal of his administration, called the interim deal “an important first step” after “intensive” diplomacy. “Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path to a world that is more secure.” He called these “substantial limitations” that will prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb, and in return they would receive “modest” relief from the sanctions.

The accord includes a commitment by participating countries not to impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, “to the extent permissible within their political systems.”

In his remarks, Obama relayed a sharply-worded warning to Congress, where hawkish lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been pushing for a new round of sanctions, that breaking that commitment would have dire consequences for U.S. foreign policy.

“Going forward, we will continue to work closely with Congress,” Obama said. “However, now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions—doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies, and risk unraveling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place.”

After Obama’s speech, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at a press conference in Geneva early Sunday morning. “The purpose of this is very simple: to require Iran to prove the peacefulness of its nuclear program and to prove that it cannot acquire a nuclear weapon,” he said. “It will make our partners in the region safer. It will make our ally Israel safer.” In return, certain sanctions on precious metals and automobiles, among others, would be eased.

As word of the deal spread, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No.2 Republican in the Senate, took to Twitter with criticism, saying this was an effort by the White House to deflect attention away from the new health care law: “Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care.”

Speaking to CNN, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said: “The question really for the world is will Iran under this deal have to dismantle their capability to enrich uranium in a serious way.” He added: “The question is should they be allowed to enrich given their behavior at all? I don’t know the answer to that question.”

In a statement, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he remains concerned that the deal wouldn’t “adequately” halt Iran’s enrichment capabilities: “As this deal goes into effect, the United States must remain vigilant and respond immediately and severely to any cheating or wrongdoing by Iran. And we must rebuild our alliances in the region and stand firmly with our closest partners against Iranian aggression.”

Like Congress, U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia have been skeptical of any deal with Iran.

Joining the western diplomats who shared news of the deal on Twitter, a message was sent from the account of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: “Iranian people’s vote for #moderation & constructive engagement + tireless efforts by negotiating teams are to open new horizons. #IranTalks.”

With reporting by Zeke Miller

41 comments
TimothyA.Wagner
TimothyA.Wagner

What are the chances that this could actually lead to a nuclear war if Isreal attacks Iran?

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Don't trust this agreement with Iran and America.

Muslims can lie when necessary - There are two forms of lying to non believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, taqiyya and kitman.

These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause of Islam - in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.

1. Qur'an (16:106) - Establishes that there are circumstances that can "compel" a Muslim to tell a lie.

2. Qur'an (3:54) - "And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers." The Arabic word used here for scheme (or plot) is makara, which literally means deceit. If Allah is deceitful toward unbelievers, then there is little basis fordenying that Muslims are allowed to do the same. (See also 8:30 and 10:21)

Taken collectively these verses are interpreted to mean that there are circumstances when a Muslim may be "compelled" to deceive others for a greater purpose.

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

1938.......

.....British and French prime ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier sign the Munich Pact with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The agreement averted the outbreak of war but gave Czechoslovakia away to German conquest......

......Chamberlain was elated and even stayed behind in Munich to sign a single-page document with Hitler that he believed assured the future of Anglo-German peace.

arvay
arvay

Fabulous news, the outbreak of sanity.

Finally, we are stepping away from a conflict no one but Israel wants, including the American people who are overwhelmingly in favor. 

http://world.time.com/2013/11/20/poll-majority-of-americans-support-nuke-deal-with-iran/

Jut like with Syria, the Americans reject more war. 

Once this agreement matures into something more permanent, American companies can profit doing business in Iran -- the prospects are large -- and the Iranian youth, the future of that country, will be ever more exposed to and America that will be ever more difficult to be portrayed as an enemy. 

firmsoil
firmsoil

sure, i.e. toward compromising the safety and security of isreal.

Kalyan
Kalyan

Instead of reading "the first time in more than a decade that Iran has agreed to curtail elements of its nuclear program", it can also mean that "the first time in more than a decade that six anti-Iran western countries have seen reason to loosen the sanction in exchange of a righteous dialogue based process". It all depends on your perspective and the Asian perspective is that western countries are always prejudiced against Asian countries.

Yoshi
Yoshi

So, basically, Iran had a pair with a Jack high and the rest of the world folded with a Full house. 

 "Peace for our time". 

Like a sad merry-go-round.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Amazing what one can accomplish when you negotiate with people instead of just threatening them. A lesson for Republicans everywhere.

BobJan
BobJan

Cornyn was one of only 22 Senators to vote against the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 that expands the educational benefits for soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.[40] Instead, he co-sponsored SB 2938, which gives benefits that are dependent on length of service. He is a bona-fide nut job.

n April 2013, Senator Cornyn was one of 46 senators to vote against the passing of a bill which would have expanded background checks for all buyers. Cornyn voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the passage of the bill. The New York Times gave a 1% chance of Senator Cornyn voting Yea on the bill. 

John Cornyn voted to permanently repeal the estate tax and for raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million. He voted in favor of $350 billion in tax cuts over 11 years and supports making the George W. Bush tax cuts permanent.[39] However, he stands opposed to extending the 2011 payroll tax holiday.

Top 5 Industries, 2009-2014, Campaign Cmte IndustryTotalIndivsPACsOil & Gas$668,684$517,184$151,500Securities & Investment$662,249$568,749$93,500Health Professionals$525,120$366,620$158,500Retired$519,735$519,735$0Lawyers/Law Firms$403,474$324,474$79,000

  

False_Believer
False_Believer

Let's hear it for a world free from imaginary WMD. Meanwhile we are told that Pakistan has a deal to supply Saudi Arabia with nuclear warheads. But those are real bombs so we don't have to worry about them.

BTW: the reason for all the obsession with Obamacare is because health insurance is a way for employers to keep people as salary slaves. Most people get insurance through their employers and would think twice about leaving, given the high cost of individual coverage. Competition would empower employees, and guess who doesn't like that.

React
React

Why do republicans hate this country so much?

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

Lord knows the President shouldn't be able to do or say anything about any issue anywhere until John Cornyn gets finished whining about Obamacare. Iran's potential nuclear weapons program was just a rabbit for the President to pull out of a hat and distract us with. Barack Obama's sole job is to get lambasted over health insurance, right? Until the GOP decides it's time to lambaste him about failing to stop Iran's nuclear program. Heads I win, tails you lose.

John Cornyn can sit on a broom handle.

11B_INF_Retired
11B_INF_Retired

@mantisdragon91 

We sold out a country (Israel) for a false peace with the Iranians... It is called.....Appeasement!  For England and France did the same thing for Peace in our Time bull by selling out Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany in Sept 1938.... a year later Nazi Germany went on a Blitz rampage thru out Europe and started WWII. 

Phoenicia
Phoenicia

@React They work for the multinational corporations who outsourced our middleclass jobs and evade taxes by stonewalling Congress and/or putting their profits in foreign banks.  Then they depend on the global media rub by these multinational corporations to distract and uneducated American, they slash education budgets and put college students into debt in order to control them.  Then they persuade college students to stalk and harass their professors and their families so that their is no longer freedom of speech in universities or in the press.  Actually, it is a very efficient system...if you hate American which I don't.

11B_INF_Retired
11B_INF_Retired

@React 

Why are you acting this stupid?  Oh wait! Forget that I said that! My Bad!  You were dumb down by the very liberal schools you have attended. Sorry that happen to you React....

BobJan
BobJan

@React  They're paid to hate it by their lobbyists.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@11B_INF_Retired Wrong idiot. Israel illegally obtained nukes in defiance of the world. The only reason Iran wanted nukes is because a certain Texas idiot invaded countries on either side of them and lumped them into the Axis of Evil. And I'm not even going to dignify the idiocy of comparing Iran to Nazi Germany. In fact last time I checked it was Israel that is occupying foreign territory and has launched preemptive wars on its neighbors in the last 50 year and not Iran.

RohintonIrani
RohintonIrani

@11B_INF_Retired 

Here.... let me Break the NEWS to YOU : America IS NOT Israel's Bitch !....Got that ?

Spare us Poor helpless Victim !....It's Hard to be a Victim ( alleged ).

 When Israel has over 200+ NUKES POINTED at PERSIA !

Got that ?....My Professional Ethnic !


Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

At least they teach you tenses in those liberal schools.

Seriously, how can you call someone dumb when you write at a second grade level? How can you expect us to put any weight behind your opinions when you can't master rote memorization, much less complicated critical thinking?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@11B_INF_Retired @React He is correct. I wonder why Iran has problems with us in the first place? Could it be that we supplied chemical weapons and targeting coordinates to Iraq to use on them under Reagan. Or could it be that we invaded two of their neighbors and threatened them under Bush?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@11B_INF_Retired @mantisdragon91 No idiot, I'm pointing out to you scaring people with Nazi Germany references. And yet between Israel and Iran, only Israel has started wars and is till occupying foreign territory.

11B_INF_Retired
11B_INF_Retired

@mantisdragon91 

A country about the size of New Jersey and a population of just under eight million people....and yet you want to make then the Nazi.... go figure....

11B_INF_Retired
11B_INF_Retired

@mantisdragon91 @11B_INF_Retired 

Yeah right.... Trolls have a way to saying anything they want now don't they troll boy?

11B_INF_Retired
11B_INF_Retired

@RohintonIrani @11B_INF_Retired 

Wow!  If you scream a little bit louder cherry boy with that SS Nazi uniform on then maybe you will get my attention....  Tell me again how you are doing in z bunker with Adolf oh dim witted one?