Iran, P5+1 Reach Nuclear Deal

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran and the world powers have finally agreed on a long-awaited deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program, after days of intense talks in Geneva.

The Iranian foreign minister added that the nuclear crisis is abating.

The deal was announced on Sunday morning after the intense nuclear talks between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany, originally scheduled to end on Friday, entered into the fifth day.

The interim deal also allows for Iran to continue its activities in its nuclear sites in the cities of Arak, Fordo, and Natanz.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the agreement also stipulates that no additional sanctions will be imposed on Iran due to its nuclear energy program.

Iran will also receive access to USD 4.2 billion in foreign exchange as part of the nuclear deal.

Iran’s Foreign Minister also Iran’s right to enrichment has been recognized in the nuclear deal between Tehran and the Sextet.

Zarif said that the agreement “covers several important domains, the most important of which is the recognition of the right to enrichment.”

He added that the right to use peaceful nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment, is “an inalienable right” under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which should be respected by all countries.

Zarif noted that the interim deal is an “important achievement” but a “first step” toward resolving an “unnecessary crisis”, stressing that the two sides need to work together based on “equal footing, mutual respect and common benefits” to settle the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“The Iranian people demand respect for their rights but demand respect for their dignity [too] and it is important to restore their confidence, and I hope this process can do that,” he reiterated.

Iran’s top diplomat also said that a joint commission has been established to monitor the implementation of the deal.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, said the agreement recognizes the country's "enrichment program."

Araqchi had earlier emphasized that Tehran could not accept any deal that did not recognize Iran's enrichment right.

The landmark agreement was reached in Tehran’s third nuclear negotiations with the world powers since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office in August.

The British Foreign Secretary says the nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany is ‘good for the whole world.’

"Tonight's agreement with Iran [is] good for the whole world, including Middle Eastern countries,” William Hague wrote on his Twitter page on Sunday.

Describing the deal as an "important and encouraging first stage agreement,” Hague added, "Negotiations were painstaking. Tomorrow hard work begins of implementing and building on the agreement."

EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said that the deal demonstrated both sides’ "mutual respect and determination to find a way forward, which is beneficial to all.”

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the long-awaited deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany confirms Tehran’s right to civil nuclear power.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says a deal agreed between Iran and the six world powers on Tehran’s nuclear energy program is “a turning point.”

China says a deal agreed between Iran and the Sextet on Tehran’s nuclear energy program will safeguard peace in the Middle East.

Israel, furious at the nuclear deal between Iran and the Sextet over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, described it as Iran’s ‘greatest diplomatic victory’ since the Islamic Revolution.

*Photo Credit: ISNA ((Iranian Student's News Agency)