UPDATE: Details of the deal are emerging including $4.2bn in FX
Despite earlier denials from Iran's Deputy FinMin, EU, Iran, and US officials have confirmed:
- *IRAN NUCLEAR ACCORD WITH WORLD POWERS ENDS 10-YEAR DEADLOCK
- *IRAN WILL HALT 20% ENRICHMENT FOR 6 MONTHS, FARS REPORTS
- *IRAN AGREEMENT DOESN'T FORMALLY RECOGNIZE RIGHT TO ENRICH
- *IRAN AGREEMENT WILL STILL ALLOW IRAN TO ENRICH URANIUM
- *IRAN INTERIM AGREEMENT FREEZES ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS
- *IRAN DEAL LIFTS TRANSPORT AND INSURANCE SANCTIONS ON OIL
There are no details yet - but an interim agreement has been reached to 'roll back' some of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of some sanctions. Close U.S. ally Israel opposes the deal as too generous to an enemy it sees as a mortal threat. Israel is not a party to the talks. President Obama will address the nation at 1015ET to take a victory lap (perhaps this foreign victory will lift his domestic approval rating off record lows)...
The Iranian President seems pleased...
But not so much The Israelis:
Some details on the deal...
#Iran will get access to $4.2 bn in foreign exchange as part of the agreement, a Western diplomat said on Sunday.— AJELive (@AJELive) November 24, 2013
Close U.S. ally Israel opposes the deal as too generous to an enemy it sees as a mortal threat. Israel is not a party to the talks.
The proposed deal offered to Iran would reportedly allow limited uranium enrichment, although under tight restrictions and heavy international monitoring. But Western officials have balked at recognizing a legal "right" to uranium enrichment, hoping instead to craft language in the final agreement that acknowledges the right of all countries to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Zarif appeared to endorse that approach publicly last week.
The sides also continued to haggle over details of the limited sanctions relief to be offered to Iran in return for scaling back its nuclear program, diplomats said. The relief would reportedly include freeing up a small portion of Iran's overseas currency accounts and easing other trade restrictions.
The most painful sanction, affecting Iran's oil and banking sectors, would remain until the end of the deal's first phase, depending on Iran's willingness to accept permanent curbs on its nuclear program, Western officials said.
The President deep in negotiation:
WH posted photos of Pres Obama conferring with top aides today about nuclear weapons talks with Iran. http://t.co/BoMDNBYYJz— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 24, 2013
Via Al Jazeera,
Iran and six world powers have reached an agreement on curbing Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for limited sanctions relief, several delegations in the talks said on Sunday.
"We have reached an agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Twitter feed.
Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull speaking from Geneva said "marathon talks have come to an end, the French foreign minister gave a thumbs up as he departed the Intercontinental hotel.
"Foreign ministers of the P5+1 negotiation with Iran will be going to Geneva's UN headquarters where they will announce details of the deal," he said. "There are no details yet, but a interim agreement has been struck to roll back some of Iran's nuclear programme."
"It is extrordinarily significant," he added.
A diplomatic solution is unquestionably the preferred approach to resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. But for years Iran has maintained an indisputable posture of deceit and defiance towards the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and nations around the world, including, centrally, the P5+1.
Given this history, and the concomitant lack of trust, the P5+1 will need to be ever vigilant in determining whether Iranian leaders are, in fact, sincere and will fulfill their part of the deal, or will rather play for time while trying to advance their nuclear program.
Serious questions for us to consider in evaluating the merits of this agreement with Iran include:
-- How do America’s closest allies in the Middle East view the deal, since, after all, they are the nations most immediately threatened by the prospect of Iran's belligerence, nuclear weapons capability and delivery systems?
-- Does the agreement preserve, explicitly or implicitly, an Iranian “right” to enrich uranium? And, specifically, what are the implications for permitting Iran to continue to enrich uranium to 3.5% during the six-month interim deal?
-- Are there precise, satisfactory monitoring arrangements for halting all construction, inside and outside, at the plutonium facility in Arak?
-- Is Iran permitted to continue building centrifuges, for potential installation later -- say, at the end of the six-month interim deal -- to enhance still further its enrichment capability?
-- Is Iran required to provide full access to all of its enrichment facilities, centrifuges and nuclear material holdings, including yellow cake?
-- Does Iran have to declare and allow inspections of all work related to nuclear-weapons development, as the IAEA has identified, including triggers, computer simulations of nuclear explosions, ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads?
-- Have the six world powers received any concrete commitment on Tehran’s involvement in the brutal war in Syria, support for Hezbollah, and efforts to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles?
Ultimately, the true test of this agreement will be the ability of the world powers and UN agencies to verify Iranian compliance, including openness to, and full cooperation with, regular, intrusive inspections of all of its nuclear facilities.
Meanwhile, we believe that existing sanctions should remain in place and new sanctions, whose trigger date would not necessarily be immediate, should be pursued to underscore the seriousness of America’s determination -- and the consequences of an Iranian failure to act in good faith.
Tangible deeds, not poetic words, will ultimately determine whether Iran has embarked on a new path of cooperation and compliance, or is pursuing the same aggressive and destabilizing policies, which pose such a threat to regional and global security, simply wrapped in new packaging.
And in other news...
BREAKING: Republican Party to change name to "Iran" in order to get Obama to negotiate with them— Right Scoop (@trscoop) November 24, 2013