Iran, 6 world powers reach breakthrough nuclear deal
GENEVA — Iran struck a historic nuclear deal Sunday with the United States and five other world powers, in the most significant development between Washington and Tehran in more than three decades of estrangement between the two nations.
The agreement commits Iran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for limited and gradual sanctions relief. It builds on the momentum of the dialogue opened during September's annual U.N. gathering, which included a 15-minute phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani.
It marks a milestone between the two countries, which broke diplomatic ties 34 years ago when Iran's Islamic revolution climaxed in the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Since then, relations between the two countries have been frigid to hostile - until the recent outreach between the two presidents.
Obama hailed the deal as putting ''substantial limitations” on a nuclear program that the United States and its allies fear could be turned to nuclear weapons use.
“While today's announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” Obama said. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”
''Agreement in Geneva,” tweeted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who flew to Geneva on Saturday, joining foreign ministers of the nations negotiating with Iran to push the deal through. ''First step makes world safer. More work now.”
Kerry said the first-step deal will make Israel - an arch enemy of Iran - safer. He was trying to pacify Israel's vehement opposition to the deal.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has loudly criticized the agreement, saying the international community is giving up too much to Iran, which it believes will retain the ability to produce a nuclear weapon and threaten Israel.
A White House statement called the nuclear agreement an ''initial, six-month step.”
Specifically, the statement said the deal limits Iran's existing stockpiles of enriched uranium, which can be turned into the fissile core of nuclear arms.
The statement also said the accord curbs the number and capabilities of the centrifuges used to enrich and limits Iran ability to ''produce weapons-grade uranium” from a reactor in the advanced stages of construction. The statement also said Iran's nuclear program will be subject to ''increased transparency and intrusive monitoring.”
''Taken together, these first step measures will help prevent Iran from using the cover of negotiations to continue advancing its nuclear program as we seek to negotiate a long-term, comprehensive solution that addresses all of the international community's concerns,” said the statement.
In return, the statement promised ''limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible (sanctions) relief” to Iran, noting that ''the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place.”
It said any limited sanctions relief will be revoked and new penalties enacted if Iran fails to meet its commitments.'
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates grind out extra-inning win against testy Tigers
- Steelworkers seek to keep working during talks
- Roundup: Westinghouse to benefit from EU nuclear fueling deal; Consol again reworks offering for coal spinoff; more
- Shopping season starts up for Penguins amid onset of free agency
- Gameday: Pirates at Detroit, July 1, 2015
- ‘Suspicious’ blaze in N. Belle Vernon puts cops on alert
- It’s time to take a serious look at investments
- Guido: 48 years later, Armstrong School District down to 2 high schools
- Donora woman wins state nursing award
- U.S. Steel, Alcoa lead June decline
- Gaffney leads Irwin Men’s Summer League into 25th season