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Saturday 23 November 2013

Iran and six world powers meeting in Geneva say they have reached a deal on Tehran's nuclear programme.

Iran is to curb its nuclear activities, initially for six months, in return for limited relief from sanctions. 
US President Barack Obama welcomed the deal, saying it included "substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon".
  But Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has insisted Iran retains its right to enrich uranium.

Tehran denies repeated claims by Western governments that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. It insists it must be allowed to enrich uranium for power stations. 'Reciprocal measures' After four days of negotiations, representatives of the so-called P5+1 group of nations - the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany - reached an agreement with Iran in the early hours of Sunday morning. A final text of the deal has yet to be released, but EU foreign policy chief Baroness Catherine Ashton said it included "reciprocal measures by both sides". She said the deal would be co-ordinated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In a televised address from Washington, US President Barack Obama said the measures agreed would "help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon". Mr Obama outlined what the deal contained, including a commitment by Iran to halt "certain levels of enrichment and neutralising part of its stockpiles" - an apparent reference to uranium enrichment above 5% purity, which is needed to create a nuclear bomb. In return, he said Iran would "halt work at its plutonium reactor and new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran's nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments". In his news conference in Geneva, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was an opportunity for the "removal of any doubts about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme". But he insisted that Iran had not given up its right to enrich uranium. "We believe that the current agreement, the current plan of action as we call it, in two distinct places has a very clear reference to the fact that Iranian enrichment programme will continue and will be a part of any agreement, now and in the future," he said. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the agreement was "good news for the whole world". 'Significant agreement' Sanctions on Iran would be relaxed, the US State Department said.................http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25074729 24/11/13
  • Iran will freeze up the whole country’s nuclear programme for six months and will suspend the construction of a heavy water reactor in Arak, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday. 
“We agreed that this will be the first stage of advancement to this goal, it will take six months, during which Iran will freeze up the whole country’s nuclear programme, will not add new centrifuges and will not take any steps related with the construction of a heavy water reactor in Arak, so, the whole volume of the Iranian nuclear programme, which, by the way, the IAEA is controlling fully and the agency will keep its control over it for next six months,” Lavrov noted.

  • Diplomats say an interim agreement has been reached in Geneva regarding Iran's nuclear programme. -Iran will freeze up the whole country’s nuclear programme for six months 

Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough agreement to curb Tehran's atomic ambitions in exchange for limited sanctions relief, in a first step towards resolving a dangerous decade-old standoff. The deal between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia was nailed down early on Sunday after more than four days of negotiations.
President Barack Obama says a nuclear deal with Iran is an "important first step" toward addressing the world's concerns over the Islamic republic's disputed nuclear programme. Obama says the deal includes "substantial limitations'' on Iran and cuts off the Iran's most likely path to a bomb.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said the deal does not recognise Iran's right to enrich uranium. Speaking after the deal was struck, Kerry said the nuclear deal makes Israel and other US allies in the Middle East safer.  Tehran will halt progress on enrichment capacity and stop advancing on the heavy water reactor at Arak, in return there will unprecedented transparency and open access to international weapons inspection. The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, "I hope we can start restoring the lost confidence. The Iranian people demand respect for their rights and dignity, it is important to restore their confidence and I hope this process can do that."  European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said "I'm delighted that we have got there, we are confident for a long term deal, this is the first step as you will see its very much within the framework of reaching a comprehensive agreement." Speaking from Tehran Al Jazeera's Soraya Lennie said "Iranians have been waiting over a decade for a positive outcome. "They are waking up to the news in a much more positive mood than at any other time during any of these talks," she added.
Frozen funds The talks were aimed at finding a package of confidence-building steps to ease decades of tensions and banish the spectre of a Middle East war over Tehran's nuclear aspirations. The Western powers' goal had been to cap Iran's nuclear energy programme, which has a history of evading UN inspections and investigations, to remove any risk of Tehran covertly refining uranium to a level suitable for bombs. Tehran denies it would ever "weaponise" enrichment. The draft deal that had been under discussion in Geneva would see Iran suspend its higher-grade uranium enrichment in exchange for the release of billions of dollars in Iranian funds frozen in foreign bank accounts, and renewed trade in precious metals, petrochemicals and aircraft parts.
  • Iran will get access to $4.2 bn in foreign exchange as part of the agreement, a Western diplomat said on Sunday.
Refined uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants - Iran's stated goal - but also provide the fissile core of an atomic bomb if refined much further.
Diplomacy was stepped up after the landslide election of Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, as Iranian president in June, replacing bellicose nationalist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Rouhani aims to mend fences with big powers and get sanctions lifted. He obtained crucial public backing from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, keeping powerful hardline critics at bay.

1 comment:

  1. A top Israeli Cabinet minister has criticized the international deal over Iran's nuclear program, saying it’s based on "deception."......

    Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, in charge of monitoring Iran's nuclear program, has said there is no reason for the world to be celebrating, AP reported.

    He says the deal that was reached in Geneva on Sunday is based on "Iranian deception and self-delusion."

    It was the first Israeli reaction to the deal.

    Another senior Israeli official was reported to have called the agreement "a bad deal."

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to discuss the matter with his Cabinet later on Sunday.

    Israel has been calling for a deal that would shut down the Iranian nuclear program altogether.

    Last week Israeli PM Netanyahu urged the maintenance of sanctions against Tehran in an interview to the German media. He said that Iran should provide more transparency and halt the construction of a plutonium reactor in Arak.

    “And if they refuse to do so, increase the sanctions,” Netanyahu told Bild newspaper. “Because the options are not a bad deal or war. There is a third option: Keep the pressure up; in fact, increase the pressure.”

    US President Barack Obama plans to talk to Netanyahu on Sunday to address Israel’s concerns about the Iran nuclear deal, according to a senior US official.

    Earlier on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the deal between Iran and major world powers would make it more difficult for Iran to make a dash to build a nuclear weapon, and would make Israel and other American allies safer.


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