After 20 months of continuing talks followed by a prolonged period of sanctions, Iran on Tuesday reached a historic deal on its nuclear programme with the west in Austrian capital Vienna.
Under the deal reached between Iran and P+1 countries (Five permanent members of United Nations and Germany), Iran will limit its nuclear activities in exchange of considerable relief from sanctions while being allowed to continue with its atomic programme for peaceful purposes.
Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi, saying that under the Iran nuclear deal, $700m (£450m) of the country’s frozen assets will be released every month.
The deal is being hailed in Iran, but Israel and opponents of President Obama have called this a historic mistake.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thanked the country’s negotiators in his first reaction to the nuclear agreement with world powers. His official website said that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met President Hassan Rouhani and the cabinet and thanked “the honest and hard-working negotiating team.”
Iran’s streets, which were quieter earlier, began to see loud celebrations as soon as the news about the nuclear deal spread. Tehran-based journalist Sobhan Hassanvand tweeted a video of people thronging to streets to celebrate the deal.
— Sobhan Hassanvand (@Hassanvand) July 14, 2015
US defence secretary Ash Carter called the deal “comprehensive” but warned that the US military was prepared to take action in case of “Iranian malign influence”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov felt that reaching an agreement on Iran made it possible to remove barriers, including artificial ones, to the formation of a broad coalition to fight terror groups like the Islamic State.
An ecstatic Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif took time off at the Vienna airport to click a selfie with a group of Iranian journalists.
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) July 14, 2015
President Obama, who spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on phone on Tuesday, is expected to make public statement on the deal on Wednesday.
He reportedly told Netanyahu,”We remain vigilant in countering the Iranian regime’s destabilising activities in the region.”
Netanyahu has already called this idea a “stunning historic mistake.”
Meanwhile, America’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying organisation, AIPAC, said it was “deeply concerned” over the deal as it did not meet its requirements. A statement released by AIPAC said, “This proposed agreement… would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.”
Almost all Republic presidential candidates bar Donald Trump have tweeted criticising the deal.
KEY POINTS OF IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL:
- Iran to reduce the number of centrifuges by two-thirds.
- It will place bans on enrichment at key facilities and limits uranium research and development to the Natanz facility.
- Future uranium enrichment capped at 3.67 percent limiting the stockpile to 300 kg for 15 years.
- Iran to ship spent fuel out of the country forever, as well as allow IAEA inspectors access in perpetuity.
- Heightened inspections, including tracking uranium mining and monitoring the production and storage of centrifuges for 20 years.