Iran and the P5+1 powers announced Thursday afternoon they have reached an understanding of “key parameters” for a final agreement that will remove sanctions on Iran and would require it to allow verified inspections of its nuclear program.
Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that “many technical details” must be ironed out.
President Barack Obama called it a “good deal” that will keep Iran from getting its hands on weapons grade plutonium and would require enriched uranium to be shipped out of Iran.
He said the arrangement is better than “bombing Iran and starting a new war in the Middle East” and would only set back Iran’s nuclear program for a few years. Kerry said that the nuclear facility at Natanz is the only plant that will continue to operate and where the uranium is low grade.
No other enrichment material will remain, and the Fordo nuclear plant will be converted to a “research and development “center.
Kerry also said that the heavy water reactor will be converted so that it cannot be used for the development of a nuclear weapon.
Iran is required to ship all enrich uranium out of the country, and it is committed not to build any more heavy water reactors for at least 15 years.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced, “Our decision today will be the base for the start of drafting the Joint the Plan of Action (the final deal) which should end by the July 1 deadline.”
He said all sanctions will be lifted, but Kerry stated that this will happen in stages until a final agreement is made by midnight June 30.
One of the most interesting parts of the “key parameters” is that some clauses may not be made public except to governments and Congress.
The key elements are inspections and access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, to which Kerry said Iran has agreed.
President Obama said in his remarks after the announcement of “key parameters” that he is maintained to the security of Israel and that he will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
Iran will reduce the number of its centrifuges to around 6.000, including 5,000 at Natanz for industrial-scale enrichment and 1,000 at Fordo, but not for enrichment.
The kicker is Zarif’s statement that not everyone will understand the “key parameters” the same way. Fars News Agency reported::
He [Zarif] cautioned that the seven nation’s party to the nuclear talks might present today’s agreement in different ways as they see fit.
The same Foreign Minister Zarif said earlier today that “no agreement will be announced today,” a sure sign that something would indeed be announced, even it is called “key parameters.”
But Obama reassured the American people that although the emerging deal will not remove distrust between Iran and the United States, Iran is committed to using its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.
How does he know?
Because the Islamic Republic has supposedly issued a religious fatwa forbidding nuclear weapons.
The Washington Post reported a year and a half ago on whether the there is such fatwa or it is simply a statement:
Even if one believes the fatwa exists — and will not later be reversed — it clearly appears to have evolved over time. U.S. officials should be careful about saying the fatwa prohibits the development of nuclear weapons, as that is not especially clear anymore.
President Obama covered all the bases in his remarks at the White House,. He said he has spoken with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia and is looking forward to a lively debate” with Congress.