After 19 days of exhausted and often turbulent negotiations in Vienna, a deal has been reached regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
The original deadline of the deal was June 30, but was then extended to drag into July as talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif carried on. Iran and the P5+1 have now agreed to a deal detailed in 110 pages.
“I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United states and our allies,” said United States President Barack Obama. “I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.”
Titled the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, Iran and the world powers have endorsed the plan and will submit it to the United Nations Security Council without delay.
President Obama said that the deal, “is not built on trust, it is built on verification.”
“We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict.”
An eight-year limitation will be imposed on all Iran’s uranium enrichment. Two-thirds of its centrifuges will be closed down and 98 per cent of its enriched uranium stockpile must be removed.
Iran is to build no additional heavy water reactors or accumulate any heavy water for 15 years. All excess heavy water will be made available for export to the international market. The Arak heavy-water production site will be converted to not produce any plutonium as well.
The deal brought hope for many Iranians who sought a relief of heavy sanctions imposed by world powers that has brought economic hardship in Iran for years.
However, the hope for immediate sanction relief was not part of the deal. Instead, sanction relief will be coordinated when Iran starts implementing measures agreed to in the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will then have to certify Iran is following through in accordance to the deal, which will then lead to nuclear-related sanctions being lifted.
If agreements are violated, sanctions will snap back into place.
The deal also places a five-year restriction on buying arms and an eight-year restriction on missiles.
Oil prices fluctuated after the deal was signed, though it would be much longer until Iranian oil will enter the market, as the process will be gradual.
The historic deal will bring an end to a 12-year standoff on Iran’s nuclear program — but it’s not all over yet.
Both Kerry and Zarif have a tough sell at home, each having to deal with their own set of opponents to the deal.
Republican presidential candidates have been quick to ciriticize the deal. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush called the agreement a “dangerous, deeply flawed, and short-sighted” deal.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said in a statement today that the deal was a “stunning historic mistake.”
In Tehran, crowds took to the streets to chant and celebrate a new chapter in U.S.-Iran relations.
“A new page in history has come,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a statement shortly after the deal. “This new page will be written In the terms that world problems can be solved in shorter, and lower costs.”
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson also released a statement today saying that Canada “will continue to judge Iran by its actions not its words.”
Nicholson said Canada will examine this deal further before taking any specific action.