U.S. Reaches a Historic Nuclear Deal with Iran


mentalfloss
#1


18-day negotiation yields landmark Iran nuclear accord

VIENNA (AP) — After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, world powers and Iran struck a landmark deal Tuesday to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions — an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Muslim world.

The accord will keep Iran from producing enough material for an atomic weapon for at least 10 years and impose new provisions for inspections of Iranian facilities, including military sites. And it marks a dramatic break from decades of animosity between the United States and Iran, countries that alternatively call each other the "leading state sponsor of terrorism" and the "the Great Satan."

The deal "is not built on trust, it is built on verification," President Barack Obama declared from the White House, in a statement carried live on Iranian state TV. He said all potential pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon have been cut off.

In Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said "a new chapter" has begun in his nation's relations with the world.

The two leaders spoke moments after the formal announcement of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, whose completion comes after more than two weeks of furious diplomacy during which negotiators blew through three self-imposed deadlines. The top American and Iranian diplomats both threatened at points to walk away from the talks.

On Tuesday in Vienna, however, all sides hailed the outcome. Announcing the accord, Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said diplomats "delivered on what the world was hoping for — a shared commitment to peace and to join our hands to make our world safer." The deal, she said, ensures that Iran's nuclear program "will be exclusively peaceful."

In a final negotiating session with his counterparts from the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, "We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody, but it is what we could accomplish, and it is an important achievement for all of us."

Secretary of State John Kerry, who did most of the bargaining with Zarif, said persistence paid off. "Believe me, had we been willing to settle for a lesser deal we would have finished this negation a long time ago," he told reporters.

The breakthrough came after several key compromises.

Iran agreed to the continuation of a U.N. arms embargo on the country for up to five more years, though it could end earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency definitively clears Iran of any current work on nuclear weapons. A similar condition was put on U.N. restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran, which could last for up to eight more years, according to diplomats.

Washington had sought to maintain the ban on Iran importing and exporting weapons, concerned that an Islamic Republic flush with cash from the nuclear deal would expand its military assistance for Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, Yemen's Houthi rebels, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and other forces opposing America's Mideast allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iranian leaders insisted the embargo had to end as their forces combat regional scourges such as the Islamic State. And they got some support from China and particularly Russia, which wants to expand military cooperation and arms sales to Tehran, including the long-delayed transfer of S-300 advanced air defense systems — a move long opposed by the United States.

Another significant agreement will allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties, something the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had long vowed to oppose. However, access isn't guaranteed and could be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving Tehran time to cover up any illicit activity.

Under the accord, which runs almost 100 pages, Tehran would have the right to challenge the U.N request and an arbitration board composed of Iran and the six world powers would then decide on the issue. The IAEA also wants the access to complete its long-stymied investigation of past weapons work by Iran, and the U.S. says Iranian cooperation is needed for all economic sanctions to be lifted.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Tuesday his agency and Iran had signed a "roadmap" to resolve outstanding concerns, hopefully by mid-December.

The economic benefits for Iran are potentially massive. It stands to receive more than $100 billion in assets frozen overseas, and an end to a European oil embargo and various financial restrictions on Iranian banks.

But it didn't come easily, as tempers flared and voices were raised during debates over several of the most contentious matters. The mood soured particularly last week after Iran dug in its heels on several points and Kerry threatened to abandon the effort, according to diplomats involved in the talks. They weren't authorized to speak publicly on the private diplomacy and demanded anonymity.

By Monday, however, the remaining gaps were bridged in a meeting that started with Kerry, Mogherini and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and then involved the Iranians. A half-hour after Zarif's inclusion, the ministers emerged and told aides they had an accord.

The deal comes after nearly a decade of international, intercontinental diplomacy that until recently was defined by failure. Breaks in the talks sometimes lasted for months, and Iran's nascent nuclear program expanded into one that Western intelligence agencies saw as only a couple of months away from weapons capacity. The U.S. and Israel both threatened possible military responses.

The United States joined the negotiations in 2008, and U.S. and Iranian officials met together secretly four years later in Oman to see if diplomatic progress was possible. But the process remained essentially stalemated until summer 2013, when Hassan Rouhani was elected president and declared his country ready for serious compromise.

More secret U.S.-Iranian discussions followed, culminating in a face-to-face meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations in September 2013 and a telephone conversation between Rouhani and President Barack Obama. That conversation marked the two countries' highest diplomatic exchange since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution and the ensuing hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran.

Kerry and Zarif took the lead in the negotiations. Two months later, in Geneva, Iran and the six powers announced an interim agreement that temporarily curbed Tehran's nuclear program and unfroze some Iranian assets while setting the stage for Tuesday's comprehensive accord.

It took time to get the final deal, however. The talks missed deadlines for the pact in July 2014 and November 2014, leading to long extensions. Finally, in early April, negotiators reached framework deal in Lausanne, Switzerland, setting up the last push for the historic agreement.

The disputes are likely to continue, however. In a foreshadowing of the public relations battle ahead, Iranian state TV released a fact sheet of elements it claimed were in the final agreement — a highly selective list that highlighted Iranian gains and minimized its concessions.

Among them was an assertion that all sanctions-related U.N. resolutions will be lifted at once. While a new U.N. resolution will revoke previous sanctions, it will also re-impose restrictions in a number of categories.

Beyond the parties to the pact, spoilers abound.

In the United States, Congress has a 60-day review period during which Obama cannot make good on any concessions to the Iranians. U.S. lawmakers could hold a vote of disapproval and take further action.

Iranian hardliners oppose dismantling a nuclear program the country has spent hundreds of billions of dollars developing. Khamenei, while supportive of his negotiators thus far, has issued a series of defiant red lines that may be impossible to reconcile in a deal with the West.

And further afield, Israel will strongly oppose the outcome. It sees the acceptance of extensive Iranian nuclear infrastructure and continued nuclear activity as a mortal threat, and has warned that it could take military action on its own, if necessary.

The deal is a "bad mistake of historic proportions," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, adding that it would enable Iran to "continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region."

Sunni Arab rivals of Shiite Iran are none too happy, either, with Saudi Arabia in particularly issuing veiled threats to develop its own nuclear program.

18-day negotiation yields landmark Iran nuclear accord
Last edited by mentalfloss; Jul 14th, 2015 at 07:44 AM..
 
Locutus
+3
#2  Top Rated Post
Thanks Chamberlain.
 
Highball
+1
#3
Why no transparency? Why no hint of any of what we gave up to stop a nation that hates trhe US from getting its way?
 
petros
-1
#4
They don't hate the US.
 
Locutus
+2
#5
John Podhoretz ‏@jpodhoretz

We will have 24-7 access to Iran's key nuclear facilities? Deal says Iran will have 24 days to delay inspections

Even I could figure out how to hide a working centrifuge in 24 days, and I don't know how to boil water
 
petros
#6
Even you can build a uranium bomb with no experience with tools found in high school industrial arts shop or need to upgrade to plutonium. A plain Jane uranium bomb did a splendid job on Japan did it not?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-type_fission_weapon
 
Locutus
#7

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna. REUTERS


memes waiting to happen





Iranians Are Euphoric After Nuclear Deal Reached

Iranians Are Euphoric After Nuclear Deal Reached

bet barry will be the last muslim prez those idiots ever elect.

The Unexpected Return of 'Duck and Cover' - The Atlantic
 
mentalfloss
#8
Is this Iran’s Berlin Wall moment? | Azadeh Moaveni | Comment is free | The Guardian
Latest US news, world news, sports and opinion from the Guardian | theguardian.com | The Guardian

At the height of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s defiance of the west over Iran’s nuclear programme, his government popularised the slogan, “Nuclear energy is our absolute right”. One day I went outside my house in Tehran to find fresh graffiti scrawled on the wall nearby: “Danish pastry is our absolute right.” It referred to the beloved pastries that his government had decreed, in the wake of the Danish prophet Muhammad cartoon controversy, needed rebranding as “roses of Muhammad”. That graffiti comes to mind today, as Iran and the west announce their agonisingly awaited nuclear deal.

Back then, as today, Iranians cared more about what enhanced their daily lives than ideology and tough stances. For a decade, and especially the past three years, sanctions have gouged away at people’s quality of life. They have lost jobs as unemployment spiked, lost access to important medications and to software the rest of the world takes for granted. The era of sanctions has been the era of loss of many things: of carefully acquired savings, of dreams of studying abroad, of being able to serve meat once a week.

Most painfully for a country that has the Middle East’s most educated, sizeable middle-class, Iranians have lost the ability to be genuinely cosmopolitan; international travel is outside the reach of everyone but the Maserati-driving elite; buying a book from Amazon is technically impossible, as is registering for hundreds of university courses abroad, online and actual.

It is difficult to enumerate the endless ways – economic, cultural, academic – that sanctions have impacted the lives of ordinary Iranians. That is why, following an agreement that will eventually bring sanctions to an end, it is hard to piece together their vision for what will change. The mood in Tehran is pure fizz, and the talk spans everything from cheaper iPhones to democracy.

Some change is likely to come quickly. The Iranian rial will gain value against international currencies, this will edge inflation down, and in the very short term people will feel the economic pressures that have pinned them down will ease ever so slightly. But the big indicators will take time to improve, just as the most important sanctions will take time to be removed.

Business people are watching earnestly, waiting for access to lines of credit, spare parts, technology, and the international banking system. For ordinary people, this will, in time, trickle down to better toasters and more affordable watermelon (fruit has become, for a nation obsessed with the fruit bowl, outrageously expensive). Small businesses who have had to write code for software they couldn’t buy can channel that creativity elsewhere.

If the full trajectory is achieved, the oil and gas sector will renew its outdated technologies and Iran will produce more and better oil, with commensurate revenue that the government could, theoretically, use to fix all the bridges, dams and rural infrastructure projects that are badly needed and which have been abandoned. Western companies and venture capitalists will stream in, and that will mean jobs and real competition – something the Iranian market and the Iranian consumer has not experienced since the 1970s.

Iranian politics is centred around the threat of the enemy; if the enemy has brokered a fair deal, everything changes.

But arguably the most interesting change will be one of perspective and expectation. Already, progressive Iranians, of which there are many, are talking about this deal as Iran’s Soviet Union wall-coming-down moment. They know that nothing has divided the political establishment so bitterly since the Islamic revolution as how to deal with the west, and this moment of accommodation, they hope, will bring more profound, transformative change.

Some, as one university lecturer in Tehran told me, hope that the government “stops interfering in its citizens’ private lives and focuses on macro policy and securing the country’s borders”.

Iranian politics is centred around the intimate threat posed by the enemy; if the enemy has sat at the table and brokered a fair deal, then the stakes for everything change. The censor who blocked a novel from publication because its protagonist travelled to the “corrupt” west might even reconsider, many hope, what is acceptable in the literature Iranians are permitted to read. In a post-deal Iran, that character, and everything he represents, may be allowed to exist.

Although Iranians expect a lot to change, from the modest to the lofty, the simple truth is that they have never really been wholly shuttered behind an iron curtain. There has been great growth and vibrancy in many sectors, and Iranians have persevered in grasping at the world from behind the regime’s internet firewalls.

What will change is that they will be relieved of the many burdens that effort has involved: extra jobs, extra digital proxies, extraneous middlemen and black-market dealings. The sum total of all that energy squandered and lost will be redirected back to life itself.

A petrochemical plant owner will no longer need to meet an Italian vendor in some clandestine third country, offering triple the price for an essential piece of technology out of desperation. When all that happens, Iran will, instead of merely coping, perhaps thrive again. And that is why Iranians’ anticipation today is mixed with anxiety. They know that for much of their region and the world, that is a formidable and not entirely easy prospect.

Is this Iran’s Berlin Wall moment? | Azadeh Moaveni | Comment is free | The Guardian
 
Locutus
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Is this Iran’s Berlin Wall moment?

Quote: Originally Posted by Locutus View Post

....
 
mentalfloss
#10
Glad we can both agree that the joke is on us.

Iran nuclear deal likely to pull down oil prices long term

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/business/ir...term-1.3151070

 
Locutus
+1
#11







6 major U.S. concessions in Iran nuke deal

6 major U.S. concessions in Iran nuke deal | Washington Examiner
 
petros
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Glad we can both agree that the joke is on us.

Iran nuclear deal likely to pull down oil prices long term

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/business/ir...term-1.3151070

That's awesome. After 10 years of being gouged through a polylateral agreement the Libs made with OPEC we deserve a break.

Even though we won't see a break at the pumps thanks to dollar devaluation to support worst case Ontario and gasoline and diesel being sold in USD
 
mentalfloss
+1
#13
For the people who hate peace and cheaper oil.


Iran deal good for peace, and still cheaper oil
IBTimes UK | Latest UK News | Breaking News | Business, Technology, Political & Sport News - International Business Times UK

Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hailed the historic deal(Getty)
For a decade, Iran's lies about its nuclear weapon plans and threats to Israel made the country a pariah. Now a nuclear agreement with the West looks set to bring Iran back into the global fold.

Israel and Saudi Arabia are dismayed, but for Iran and global consumers the peace dividends are potentially big. Iranian oil could tend to keep global oil prices on the slide. That means the West stands to gain while oil exporters lose more of their economically-disruptive clout.

The Iran nuclear accord that has been agreed in principle is the result of many years of difficult, often interrupted negotiations. It was Iranian dissidents who in 2002 revealed the existence of two hidden nuclear facilities and Iran's nuclear bomb plans.

Iran's relations with the West were so bad that an invasion of the country by the US was often rumoured. The US Federation of American Scientists estimated in a 2012 report that an invasion and occupation of Iran would cost the global economy almost $2trn (£1.3tr, €1.8tr) in the first three months alone. That the world has moved away from outright conflict must be welcomed.

Yet Iran's rapprochement with the West is certainly not universally welcome. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, warned that Iran "will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine". Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states will also see Iran's restored links with the West as dangerous. Their fear is Iranian involvement in Shiite conflicts with Sunnis in the region.

There can be no doubt that the West will have to be vigilant. Iran's reincorporation in the global economy will have to go hand-in-hand with close scrutiny of the country's political activities in the Middle East and beyond. But an Iran that is no longer alienated from the West may be easier to monitor than an isolated pariah.

“Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine”

- Benjamin Netanyahu

For an Iranian economy with annual GDP of about $400bn – similar to Austria – the opportunity to rejoin the global economy is a liberation. Economic growth is certain to be rapid. Peace with the West is going to feel a lot better than perennial conflict.

Iran's reinsertion in the global economy, meanwhile, looks significant. One impact has been felt immediately: a 2% fall in global oil prices to $57 per barrel for Brent crude in the wake of today's deal. Iran has been storing oil in tankers. It can quickly be sold on global markets. But the more important effects will come over time as Iran restores its oil facilities to full production.

Iran has been exporting less than 1.5 million barrels per day of oil. In a matter of months the country has said it should be able be able to raise its output by about half a million barrels per day. In a year the production increase could be twice that.

These increases are large enough to matter globally. According to the International Energy Agency total global oil supply rose by 2.3 million barrels per day in 2014. One million additional barrels of supply from Iran in a year could help to keep the downward pressure on global oil prices.

Iran nuclear talks in Vienna
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif talks to journalists as he stands on the balcony of Palais Coburg, the venue for nuclear talks, Austria(Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)
Rising crude supply from US shale and OPEC nations that are mostly in the Middle East have already been lubricating the oil price slide. OPEC output rose by 340,000 b/d in June to 31.7 million b/d, a three-year high, led by record high output from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Global oil prices, meanwhile, are at a three-month low.

In the longer term, Iran's impact could be still greater.

Three decades ago Iran exported 6 million barrels per day. The fresh investment that could follow its rapprochement could add further supply to global markets.

For consumers around the globe this could matter a lot. During much of the Great Recession global oil prices exceeded $100 per barrel, treble the sub-$30 level that prevailed for most of 2000 to 2005. Burst house bubbles may have been the main problem. But high fuel prices also helped to depress Western growth.

Iran's re-emergence might help reinforce the trend to lower oil and fuel prices. For US shale producers, for global oil exporters and for the oil major that constitutes a risk. But for most consumers and for global economic growth it's good news. Peace with Iran could have its dividends.

Iran deal good for peace, and still cheaper oil
 
petros
#14
That's awesome. I'm very happy their oil will hit markets.

Any idea why flawssy?
 
mentalfloss
#15
Because we'll need to increase fossil fuel subsidies, obviously.
 
petros
+2
#16
Nooooooo. It opens the door for spanking ISIS funding Wahhabi Saudis which knocks down their production. Price is bupkis son, it all about the type of oil and how many barrels you push out the door. Volume.
 
Locutus
+2
#17
 
petros
+1
#18
Death to Arabs,

This opens the door for Persians to step up on the ISIS/Saudi/Russia problem.

Yeehaw!!
 
EagleSmack
+2
#19
Yes... it does do that. There will be more money for Iran to smack ISIS about.
 
petros
#20
They'll need an air force. North Americans build those and will trade for that deliciously sweet crude.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#21
Tits.
 
petros
#22


Nice tits.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#23
Bennie's pissed ... but what else is new
 
Tecumsehsbones
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Bennie's pissed ... but what else is new

Bennie doesn't like tits?
 
petros
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Bennie's pissed ... but what else is new

Who gives a sh-t what that lefty Nutlessyahudi thinks. He's high.
 
mentalfloss
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Nooooooo. It opens the door for spanking ISIS funding Wahhabi Saudis which knocks down their production. Price is bupkis son, it all about the type of oil and how many barrels you push out the door. Volume.

ISIS lol
 
petros
+2
#27
Yes ISIS lol.

Dumb f-ck.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Yes ISIS lol.

Dumb f-ck.


You know how nimby he can get.
 
gopher
No Party Affiliation
#29
Interesting how the AP headlines read "USA and Iran struck a deal" but in the narrative it says, "world powers and Iran struck a landmark deal".
 
Kreskin
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Who gives a sh-t what that lefty Nutlessyahudi thinks. He's high.

Isn't that the Israeli leader? Nutlessyahoo?