Details are emerging of an agreement between the United States and Iran, as well as other world powers, on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
I will add to the article as information is released. The White House released a summary of the deal.
“I am confident at we can show that this deal is good for the United States, for our allies, and for the world,” President Obama said Thursday afternoon at the White House. “When you hear the inevitable critics of the deal sound off, ask them a simple question, do you really think this deal . . . is a worse option than another war in the Middle east? Is it worth doing want we’ve done . . . and Iran’s program moving forward?”
Obama said Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should embrace the deal, and said he would work with Israel to bolster its defenses.
“If in fact Prime Minister Netanyahu is looking for the best way to (prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon), this is the best option,” Obama said.
According to reports:
Both Germany’s foreign office and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said that key parameters of a framework for a final accord had been reached, with the details to be negotiated by June 30. But Western diplomats cautioned that on several of the key issues that were debated here for the past eight days between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, there were still significant differences.
“We have stopped a cycle that is not in the interest of anybody,” an exuberant Mr. Zarif said at a news conference following the announcement.
Secretary of State John Kerry tweeted that all sides have the “parameters to resolve major issues” on Iran’s nuclear program and will soon get back to work on a “final deal.”
The agreement would place strong constraints and controls on Iran’s nuclear program for as many as 25 years, with severe limits for the first decade.
What the six powers and Iran agreed upon set down key parameters for a final nuclear deal on many key questions. However, reflecting the intense negotiations of the past few days, it remained unclear how quickly Iran will be able to scale up its nuclear activities after the first decade, and it was unclear when United Nations nuclear-related sanctions would be eased.
Mr. Zarif, speaking in Lausanne, said “none of those measures require closing any of our facilities,” something he said the “proud people” of Iran would never allow. He said, for example, that centrifuges would remain in the underground Fordo site, but that no enrichment of uranium would take place there.
“Today we have taken a decisive step,” said Federica Mogherini, the foreign policy chief of the European Union. “We have reached solutions on key parameters of a joint comprehensive plan of action.”
In a statement read to reporters, Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said Iran would limit the operation of uranium-enrichment centrifuges to one site — Natanz — and would convert its controversial Fordow enrichment site into a center for nuclear physics and technology research. The Fordow site, which Iran secretly built deep inside a mountain near Qom, had raised alarm because it was less vulnerable to attack if used to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.
“There will not be any fissile material at Fordow,” Mogherini said in English. Zarif read the same statement in Farsi.
They also said that a heavy-water nuclear reactor at Arak would be rebuilt so that it could not be used to produce any weapons-grade plutonium. “There will be no reprocessing, and the spent fuel will be exported,” they said.
In return, nuclear-related sanctions against Iran will be terminated by the European Union and the United States, subject to verification that Iran is meeting terms of the agreement, the statement said.