By Russia Today
24 November, 2013
The P5+1 world powers and Iran have struck a historic deal on Tehran’s nuclear program at talks in Geneva on Sunday. Ministers overcame the last remaining hurdles to reach agreement, despite strong pressure from Israel and lobby groups.
Under the interim agreement, Tehran will be allowed access to $4.2 billion in funds frozen as part of the financial sanctions imposed on Iran over suspicions that its nuclear program is aimed at producing an atomic bomb.
As part of the deal Iran has committed to:
– Halt uranium enrichment to above 5 per cent.
– Dismantle equipment required to enrich above 5 per cent.
– Refrain from further enrichment of its 3.5 per cent stockpile.
– Dilute its store of 20 per cent-enriched uranium.
– Limit the use and installation of its centrifuges.
– Cease construction on the Arak nuclear reactor.
– Provide IAEA inspectors with daily access to the Natanz and Fordo sites.
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, called the deal a “major success” and said Tehran would expand its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the deal reached in Geneva shows that world powers have recognized Tehran’s “nuclear rights.”
“Constructive engagement [and] tireless efforts by negotiating teams are to open new horizons,” Rouhani said on Twitter shortly after the announcement.
Foreign ministers from the US, Russia, UK, France, China, Germany and the EU hailed the deal as a step toward a “comprehensive solution” to the nuclear standoff between Tehran and the West. The interim deal was reached early Sunday morning in Geneva after some 18 hours of negotiation.
“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” US President Barack Obama said in a statement at the White House. “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.”
However, Obama said that if Iran fails to keep to its commitments over the next six months, the US will “ratchet up” sanctions. US Secretary of State John Kerry, a key participant in the Geneva talks, said that Iran still had to prove it is not seeking to develop atomic weapons.
Tehran has repeatedly denied that it is developing atomic weapons, however, and maintains that its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes.
As part of the agreement, the international community has accepted Tehran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program. But after the deal was struck, participants in the Geneva talks put different interpretations on the issue of Iran’s right to enrich uranium.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi wrote on Twitter that the right to enrichment had been recognized in negotiations, and after the deal was clinched Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the deal accepted Tehran’s right to enrich uranium.
“This deal means that we agree with the need to recognize Iran’s right for peaceful nuclear energy, including the right for enrichment, with an understanding that those questions about the [Iranian nuclear program] that still remain, and the program itself, will be placed under the strictest IAEA control,” Lavrov told journalists.
John Kerry had a different spin on the deal, however, telling the media that it did not recognize Tehran’s right to enrich nuclear fuel.
“The first step, let me be clear, does not say that Iran has a right to enrich uranium,” Kerry said.
Israel has already voiced its opposition to the deal with Iran, claiming it is based on “Iranian deception and self-delusion.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the agreement as a “historic mistake” and said the world had become a more dangerous place.
© Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 2005–2013.
Robert Fisk: He may huff and puff but Benjamin Netanyahu is on his own now as nuclear agreement isolates Israel
Sudden offer by Tehran to negotiate a high-speed end to this cancerous threat of further war was thus greeted with almost manic excitement
Robert Fisk Author Biography
Sunday 24 November 2013
It marks a victory for the Shia in their growing conflict with the Sunni Muslim Middle East. It gives substantial hope to Bashar al-Assad that he will be left in power in Syria. It isolates Israel. And it infuriates Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait and other Sunni Gulf States which secretly hoped that a breakdown of the Geneva nuclear talks would humiliate Shia Iran and support their efforts to depose Assad, Iran’s only ally in the Arab world.
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In the cruel politics of the Middle East, the partial nuclear agreement between Iran and the world’s six most important powers proves that the West will not go to war with Iran and has no intention – far into the future – of undertaking military action in the region. We already guessed that when – after branding Assad as yet another Middle Eastern Hitler – the US, Britain and France declined to assault Syria and bring down the regime. American and British people – those who had to pay the price for these monumental adventures, because political leaders no longer lead their men into battle – had no stomach for another Iraq or another Afghanistan.
Iran’s sudden offer to negotiate a high-speed end to this cancerous threat of further war was thus greeted with almost manic excitement by the US and the EU, along with theatrical enthusiasm by the man who realises that his own country has been further empowered in the Middle East: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. Assad’s continued tenure in Damascus is assured. Peace in our time. Be sure we’ll be hearing that Chamberlonian boast uttered in irony by the Israelis in the weeks to come.
But there’s no doubt that Geneva has called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bluff. He may huff and puff, but if he wants to bash Iran now – on the basis that Israel must remain the only nuclear nation in the Middle East – he’s going to be on his own when his planes take off to bomb Iran’s nuclear plants. The Aipac attack dogs can be sent up to Congress again by that most infamous of Israeli-American lobby groups to harry Republicans in support of the Likudist cause, but to what purpose? Did Mr Netanyahu really think the Iranians were going to dismantle their whole nuclear boondoggle?
When he said yesterday that “the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapon”, many Arabs – and an awful lot of other people in the world, including the West – will have wondered whether Israel, which long ago obtained the world’s most dangerous weapon, is now – in rejecting the Geneva deal – the world’s most dangerous government. If Mr Netanyahu and his clique in the government decide to twit the world’s major powers amid their euphoria, he may bring about – as several Israeli writers have warned – the most profound change in Israel’s relations with the US since the foundation of the Israeli state. It would not be a change for Israel’s benefit.
But six months – the time it takes to solidify this most tangential of nuclear agreements – is a long time. In the coming days, Republicans in Washington and the right-wing enemies of President Rouhani will demand to know the real details of this febrile game at Geneva. The Americans insist that Iran does not have the “right to enrichment”. Iran insists that it does. The percentages of enrichment will have to be examined far more carefully than they were yesterday.
Mr Rouhani – or Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader whose dark wings hover over every elected Iranian leader – says that the fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon will be seen by future generations as a “historical joke”. Netanyahu says the whole shenanigans in Geneva will prove to be a “historic mistake”. The Sunni Saudis, always waiting to spot the winner before opening their mouths, have already sat down with their Sunni Qatari and Kuwaiti allies to commiserate with each other over Shia Iran’s new victory.
Netanyahu: Israel Is ‘By Itself,’ ‘
Not Bound By This Agreement’
By Philip Weiss
(Turn on the captions to watch in English. [CC] )
November 25, 2013 “Information Clearing House – Gray and solemn pronouncements about Israel acting “by itself” were issued by the Israeli prime minister at his Cabinet meeting today and mark Israel’s sudden isolation from world opinion– and signal division inside the Israel lobby in the U.S.
Netanyahu doesn’t look to have slept well. A historic mistake, not a historic agreement, he says. “The most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world.”
There is no effort to seize the moment. “Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel.”
And Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself, “by itself,” against any threat.
So Netanyahu wants the existential Islamic terror pot to keep boiling forever, to keep the world’s eyes off the West Bank and Jerusalem.
He ends with this declaration: Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear capability.
The ardent supporters of the Jewish state in the U.S. have never been in a worse position. They are largely supportive of this deal. They will have to throw Netanyahu under the bus. Most of them, anyway.
© 2013 Mondoweiss.net