VIENNA (TIP): Capping more than a decade of negotiations, Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, July 14, with an agreement that shall have a wide ranging impact.
The agreement, seen as one of the most important international agreements of nuclear age, would prevent Iran from manufacturing nuclear weapons, could transform the Middle East, ease gas prices across the world and lift sanctions against Iran to facilitate international trade.
While US president Barack Obama said the agreement was “not built on trust. It is built on verification “, Israel called it a “historic surrender”.
Under the deal, sanctions imposed on Iran would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb. Iran will cut its current stockpile of low enriched uranium.
The agreement will keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years and impose new provisions for inspections of Iranian facilities, including military. A UN weapons embargo would remain in place for five years and a ban on buying missile technology would remain for eight years.
The main deal with the world powers depends on the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) being able to inspect Iranian nuclear sites and on Iran answering the watchdog’s questions about possible military aims of previous research.
The IAEA announced an agreement with Iran on a roadmap to resolve its own outstanding issues with Iran by the end of this year.
The U.S has said that Iranian cooperation is needed for all economic sanctions to be lifted. The prospect of an agreement benefiting Iran is a worry to US allies in the Middle East.
The end of sanctions could bring a rapid economic boom for Iran by lifting restrictions that have drastically cut its oil exports and hurt its imports. The prospect of a deal has already helped push down global oil prices because of the possibility that Iranian supply could return to the market.
The deal is a major policy victory for both US President Barack Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, elected two years ago on a vow to reduce the diplomatic isolation of a country of 77 million people.
The two nations had been describing each other as “the Great Satan” and a member of the “axis of evil”. The agreement will not come into force immediately. The two countries will have 90 days for domestic reviews and Iran, in the meantime, shall take steps to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure. In case Iran reneges, the sanctions will “snap back”.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he hoped, “and indeed believe – that this agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East. As such it could serve as a vital contribution to peace and stability both in the region and beyond.”
To a Republican led Congress, President Obama gave a clear message that he would expect the lawmakers to debate but not try to kill the deal. Obama said that he will “veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.”
“I welcome a robust debate in Congress on this issue, and I welcome scrutiny of the details of this agreement,” Obama said. “But I will remind Congress that you don’t make deals like this with your friends.”