By Jueseppi B.
President Obama Makes a Statement on Iran
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other international negotiators confirmed that Iran has reached a deal with six world powers during talks in Geneva on Tehran’s nuclear program and the sanctions that have been imposed on the country because of it.
The negotiations “opened a new path toward a world that is more secure,” President Barack Obama said in an address broadcast live on Al Jazeera.
“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” Obama said
Obama said the deal includes “substantial limitations which will prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.”
The deal includes an agreement that Iran will halt progress on its nuclear program, including a plutonium reactor at the Arak facility. The deal also reportedly calls on Iran to neutralize its 20 percent enriched uranium stockpiles.
Iran has further committed to halt its expansion of the nation’s uranium enrichment program, halt the installation of additional centrifuges and ban the use of advanced centrifuges.
In addition, Tehran has agreed to intrusive inspections under the terms of the deal.
In the interim, Obama promised that the United States “will refrain from imposing new sanctions and allow the Iranian government a portion of the revenue” it was previously denied.
Still, he said, “If Iran does not fully meet its commitments in six months, we will turn off the relief and crank up the pressure.”
“Because of its record violating obligations, Iran must accept strict limitations on its nuclear program,” Obama said. “The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes.”
Top European Union diplomat Catherine Ashton told Reuters the deal would create the time and space for a more comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear program.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterparts from Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany joined the Geneva talks after Zarif and Ashton reported progress on uranium enrichment and other issues on Friday.
The diplomats had aimed to hammer out an agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear program for six months, while offering the Iranians limited relief from crippling economic sanctions. If the interim deal holds, the parties will negotiate final-stage agreements to ensure Iran does not build nuclear weapons.
Thank you Al Jazeera and wire services.
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