Iran, Global Powers Reach Deal On Iran Nuclear Weapons
After 20 months of talks, negotiators appear to have reached a landmark deal aimed at reining in Iran’s nuclear program, which will give UN nuclear inspectors extensive but not automatic access to sites within Iran, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Iran will accept strict limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United Nations, which could help Iran’s economy to expand by 7 percent to 8 percent annually for years to come.
Talk of a deal led to a drop in oil prices, and a flurry of statements and Tweets from leaders and politicians offering praise and condemnation for the proposal.
Negotiations between Iran and six world powers – the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany – began in 2006.
In remarks this morning, President Barack Obama asserted the deal would meet every part of the framework outlined this spring and would cut off “every pathway” to Iran gaining a nuclear weapon.
“Because of this deal, Iran will not produce the highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium that form the raw materials necessary for a nuclear bomb,” argued Obama.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon praised the deal in a statement, saying the “agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East” and one which “could serve as a vital contribution to peace and stability both in the region and beyond.”
Also lauding the deal in a Twitter post, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it showed that “constructive engagement works,” adding “with this unnecessary crisis resolved, new horizons emerge with a focus on shared challenges.”
Iranian newspapers also framed the deal as a resounding success for the regime.
“The Iranian people are filled with a feeling of great joy as they heard that Tehran’s nuclear negotiators succeeded to safeguard their rights for a peaceful use of nuclear technology,” said the Tehran Times about the deal.
But there is some concern that the deal will benefit the terrorist group, Hezbollah and that, especially in the next few years, that Iran’s generals will compensate for the loss of their nuclear program by stepping up their financing of Hezbollah, The Daily Caller contends.
While the administration is heralding the agreement as a breakthrough, they must first break through the skepticism from Republicans and some Democrats in Congress, who will begin reviewing the details of the negotiated deal.
Not surprisingly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted with criticism, calling the deal an “historic mistake for posterity” and maintained that the two sides were more concerned about reaching a deal at any cost.
“We knew the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything else and therefore were not committed to preventing an agreement,” said Netanyahu, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The reality is that it is a painful agreement to make, but also necessary and wise. And we might think of it as just the end of the beginning of a long struggle to contain Iran. There will be other dramas ahead,” Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state for policy, told The New York Times.