Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

Published: November 24, 2013
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hugs French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius after a ceremony at the United Nations in Geneva November 24, 2013. photo: reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hugs French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius after a ceremony at the United Nations in Geneva November 24, 2013. photo: reuters

GENEVA: World powers Sunday agreed a landmark deal with Iran halting parts of its nuclear programme in what US President Barack Obama called “an important first step”.

According to details of the accord agreed in Geneva provided by the White House, Iran has committed to halt uranium enrichment above purities of five percent.

In exchange the deal will afford the Islamic republic some $7 billion in sanctions relief and the powers promised to impose no new sanctions for six months if it sticks by the accord.

The announcement came after more than four days of talks in Geneva between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council members plus Germany.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague called it “good for the whole world, including Middle Eastern countries and the people of Iran themselves”.

It was the third meeting in Geneva since Hassan Rouhani became Iranian president in August. The reputed moderate has raised hopes for an end to the decade-old standoff over Iran’s nuclear work.

Numerous diplomatic initiatives have failed over the past 10 years to persuade Iran to rein in its programme, which Tehran insists is peaceful but which Western countries suspect is aimed at crafting atomic weapons.

Foreign ministers from the six powers including US Secretary of State John Kerry had jetted into Geneva for the second time in two weeks on Saturday morning after negotiators made good progress.

This “first phase” interim deal is meant to build trust and ease tensions while negotiators push on for a final accord to end once and for all fears that Tehran will acquire an atomic bomb.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the deal, once the details are known, with go down with hardliners in the United States and the Islamic republic, as well as Israel.

Iranians, many of whom see the nuclear programme as source of national pride, are impatient to see a lifting as soon as possible of sanctions that have more than halved Iran’s vital oil exports since mid-2012.

Iran’s currency, the rial, has been depreciated by more than half since late 2011, while inflation has soared to more than 40 percent, according to questionable official figures.

Many in Israel strongly believe that the only aim of Iran — an ally of Hezbollah and embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — is to developed a nuclear arsenal.

Many hardliners in the United States agree, believing that Obama, who in September held an historic phone call with Rouhani, is being too soft on Iran.

As a result Obama will likely find it hard to persuade lawmakers to roll back any of the oil and financial sanctions and trade restrictions imposed by Congress.

Israel, itself widely assumed to  be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed nation, has refused to rule out military action against its arch rival.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed Rouhani’s overtures to the international community as an empty charm offensive.

He has campaigned tirelessly against the mooted deal, believing that it still leaves Iran with the capability to make nuclear weapons.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Sidster
    Nov 24, 2013 - 10:16AM

    Iran finally budge from it stance of no restriction on Nuclear research. USA well played.


  • LaLakiMKaa
    Nov 24, 2013 - 10:26AM

    Awesome…now lets dont talk with pakistan..just do it with pakistan….


  • Neo
    Nov 24, 2013 - 10:51AM

    Iran will settle all issues with rest of the word some by choice other by force… but iran will come up as better country,
    but Pakistan which try to follow the path of iran in all fields will be standing alone with lots of problems.


  • Masialu
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:04AM

    The only two countries opposing the deal was Israel and Saudi Arabia!
    Mind bogles?


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:08AM

    Very sensible move by Iran. Wish Iranians had accepted this agreement long time ago and saved their economy.


  • mbd4u
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:11AM

    wow now we will get energy easily. Go manmohan singh don’t waste time.


  • mbd4u
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:12AM

    wow now we will get oil easily. Go manmohan singh don’t waste time.


  • Ali
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:15AM

    So now Iran and America are best friends. Then what was all this drama about sanctions. They are one from inside.Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:35AM

    Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize paid off with aversion of two wars, Syria and now Iran. Unhappy Saudi Arabia and Israel feeling pinch but Saudi Arabia will invest less in Pakistan and a drastic reduction in oil revenue will force them to exploit ‘Hajj’ source. A very wise decision on Iran side and a dire need for Pakistani Government to come to senses and erase supporting or fearing from terrorists and sectarianism. No faith decisions in the parliament and no political decisions in the mosques.Recommend

  • Ex Pakistani
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:41AM

    Iran is hidden ally of USRecommend

  • Raj - USA
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:44AM

    Very good move by Iran. I was expecting this and had commented so three/four months ago. Now Pakistan will face the problems in IP pipeline. US will lift sanctions but Pakistan, unwilling to go for it, will try to find some or other reason to get out of the pipeline contract. Pakistan cannot antagonize Saudi Arabia and UAE. It will infuriate Iran and we will see repercussions from Iran which I expect will be towards the end of year 2014 when the penalty clauses shall come into force. India has to be watchful as Pakistan will spin stories that India is interested and wants to revive IPI and ultimately try to pass on the blame to India for not proceeding with the pipeline. India will never be interested in IPI as long as Pakistan is unable and/or unwilling to provide guarantee for the pipeline and uninterrupted flow of gas which was the sole reason that India withdrew from the IPI pipeline project. IPI may work if Chevron or a major US company takes up the project as in that case US will force Pakistan with threat of bombardment or severe sanctions to ensure uninterrupted flow of gas to India even if hostilities break between India and Pakistan.


  • Clever
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:48AM

    @Ali “So now Iran and America are best friends. Then what was all this drama about sanctions. They are one from inside”

    Similarly Saudi and Israel are friends!


  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Nov 24, 2013 - 11:54AM

    Sooner or later now next turn is of Pakistan…….Recommend

  • Aysha M
    Nov 24, 2013 - 12:11PM

    End of a chapter, hopefully harbinger of new beginnings


  • Vikas
    Nov 24, 2013 - 12:14PM

    Good News for India & Pakistan.


  • Np
    Nov 24, 2013 - 12:23PM

    Now we will see what excuse Mian Saab gives for not pushing ahead with the IP pipeline because he can no longer blame it on US sanctions. Will he have the courage to give the real reason. – Saudi pressure/Pakistan’s own financial bankruptcy?


  • Spock
    Nov 24, 2013 - 12:28PM

    Thanks India for being the only country which never backed from its friendship with Iran. India knew some day Iran will come out if its akmadnijad euphoria.


  • Sam
    Nov 24, 2013 - 12:32PM

    I hope Pakistan and its people and establishment decide to stand on the correct side of this positive development and benefit from the opening of big Iranian market. I really hope Pakistan doesnt play the sectarian card (ASWJ, LEJ, Talibans) and become proxy for Saudi in undermining Iran !!!


  • mind control
    Nov 24, 2013 - 12:33PM

    And the NATO blockade is no more.

    Chabahar Port comes into action.


  • Ben
    Nov 24, 2013 - 1:06PM

    Now the US will focus on denuclearizing Pakistan.


  • RealBloch
    Nov 24, 2013 - 1:49PM

    It boggles me that Iranian mullahs who bashed about USA and Europe as great satan, finally bogged down to their knees. Seems like it was all lies and it was. Something tells me that it can be part of greater game in Afghanistan. Might be they would redirect their supplies from Iran. Dangerous for Pakistan.


  • Ali
    Nov 24, 2013 - 2:21PM

    Iranians are wise people. They played tactfully with the whole world, everyone are seems to be of thought that Iranians backed on their Nuclear program, but that’s not true. They got what they wanted, consider this example, you go on a normal shop and ask a price, the shop owner tells you the price of Rs. 1,500 for a commodity and after a bargain you get a discount of Rs. 500, you are happy that you got discount, but the shop owner is extremely happy because he sold you on the price tag he wanted to, Rs 500 discount was just a satisfaction for the shopper that he got the discount nothing else.


  • JB
    Nov 24, 2013 - 3:30PM

    Absurd. How did you figure out that they finally bogged down to their knees? Iran has signed a compromise, not an instrument of surrender (unlike Pakistan. Oops Sorry!).
    Viva Iran! Viva Khamenei!


  • J T
    Nov 24, 2013 - 3:42PM

    This is a strategic move by the US and the west aimed at addressing several issues. For one, it helps cut the Saudis down to size. The Saudis and the other GCC states have been getting increasingly belligerent in the mid-east over the past few years. The deal also opens up another major source of oil, further easing global oil prices. And what most people might not realize is that this could be the beginning of a partnership between US and Iran to tackle Af-Pak after 2014. After all, it is same US which had partnered with the Iranians and the Russians when it had launched its military campaign against the Taliban government in 2001.


  • C. Nandkishore
    Nov 24, 2013 - 5:01PM

    Bad news for Pakistan army. Its main triumph card, moving the NATO supplies, is slipping. One more route is found. US will not need Pakistan anymore. It was the stupidity of Pakistan to stop the supplies for two months. As long as the cobra shows its hood people are afraid, the moment it tries to bite people kill it.


  • Zen
    Nov 24, 2013 - 5:13PM

    This could be death knell for supply lines from Pakistan and billions involved.


  • Truth
    Nov 24, 2013 - 5:48PM

    Now its time for pakistan to disarm nuclear weapons and follow path of peace.


  • Kiran
    Nov 24, 2013 - 5:59PM

    Good move by US and India, now pakistan will be cornered, with India Iran afghanistan axis.


  • imran ali
    Nov 24, 2013 - 6:54PM

    good decision by Iran….deal will succeed because there is no so call free media and judiciary to mislead the people…..which our media and restoration of judiciary did to Pakistan…bringing the economy disaster by democracy ….


  • unbelievable
    Nov 24, 2013 - 6:58PM

    I wonder if those who rant about how Israel controls the USA will add this to the list of things they conveniently overlook? Of course they will.


  • antanu
    Nov 24, 2013 - 7:02PM

    wow…..and what about that vote against iran and pulling off from India -Pakistan-Iran pipeline…what was that? Bro we are as huge a stooge of US as Pakistan.


  • Jibran
    Nov 24, 2013 - 8:04PM

    It should be Pakistan’s turn now. Sanctions do work. Chaudhry Nisar was asking for it the other day. Give it to the ungrateful nation of his, if they can’t put their house in order. One thing is for sure, Ch. Nisar would be the first one to jump the boat and join his family in the US.


  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Nov 24, 2013 - 8:29PM

    @Raj – USA:
    Your scenario borders on malice, Pakistan could not guarantee the constant flow of gas to India even if they wanted to , are they suppose to guard the pipe line every 100 meters by security guards, as long as the pot is boiling and abetted by India in Baluchistan, no body in the right mind could think about the safety of the pipe line and don’t forget there is unrest in Iran’s side of Baluchistan too. By the way you could dream on the military conflict between India and Pakistan, times have changed, 1971 will never ever happen again because Pakistan is in the position to defend it’s territories this time even if it will annihilate majority of both countries, rest assure India will never dare to attack again like it did in 1971, it will be a matter of survival for Pakistan and you damn well know that when it comes survival of people or nations, they will fight to the last able person and I don’t think leadership in both countries will be stupid enough to start any war. As far as Americans coming to the aid of India in case of any conflict, you are wrong again, Americans always look after their own interests and bombing a nuclear State will not be in their interest, believe me. They have entangled Iran, a weak country but refrained from going into North Korea, just look up the history, which countries in the last 50 years has been attacked by the US, all of them were weak and non-nuclear countries, it will tell you their thinking and stop dreaming about Americans coming to Indian’s aid.


  • annymous
    Nov 24, 2013 - 8:47PM

    Good analysis. You nailed it with the following:

    “… beginning of a partnership between US and Iran to tackle Af-Pak after 2014…..”

    And it seems a promising alternative in Iran that Shias in Iran could be more trustable to tackle the predominantly Sunni jihadists in Af-pak. Also an alternative for routes to stop the often ignored blackmailing on one route.

    Lekin… “Delhi abhi bahot dur hai”/lot seems to be seen and it won’t be easy.


  • Bakhtiyar Ghazi Khan
    Nov 25, 2013 - 11:54AM

    @C. Nandkishore: No Indian commentator, it is in Pakistan’s interest to disassociate itself from the massive genocide and oppression of our Afghan blood brothers by the US. This has done nothing but polarized our country and allowed foreign agents a free hand to bomb our people. Now we can gain the moral high ground and be on the right side of history.

    Pukhtoons of Afghanistan are loyal to Pakistan, and have always viewed Pakistan as their main supporter. Similarly Tajiks feel the same way about Iran. This is a golden chance for peace in Afghanistan, without the interference of foreign Non-Muslim nations. Pakistan has more to gain from the US/NATO vacating Afghanistan, than them staying there.


  • powvow
    Nov 25, 2013 - 1:53PM

    @Ali – “So now Iran and America are best friends. Then what was all this drama about sanctions. They are one from inside.”

    @Clever – “Similarly Saudi and Israel are friends!”

    Looks like everybody in the world – enemies before have become friends, except us India and Pakistan.


  • antanu
    Nov 25, 2013 - 9:46PM

    @Spock: yippee to amreeka…now iran has become amrekkas stooge…yippee also to jundullah for making so much progress in pakistan iran relations that they can never forget…ENDians have good relations with iran and pakistanis do not like shias much…I wish I could go to india…Sometimes I forget which country I am from due to my old age…When I was young I used to call everything India…and now…they tell me…I am in Pakistan…Pakistan Zindabad…Pakistan Paindabad…


  • Sami Pathan khan
    Nov 25, 2013 - 9:56PM

    Really Bad news for Pakistan, Pak will loose the geo-strategic advantage it had as Central Asian countries are easily accessible and safe from Iran. Iranians will fight for influence in Afghanistan, Strategic depth doctrine will collapse. Crude oil price is going to drop as Iran oil comes into market, GCC economy will take a hit, no more free oil for Pakistan. As west had decided to live with nuclear-Iran, Saudi Arabia will want ready-to-launch and paid for nukes from Pakistan. Wow i am getting my pop-corn and a comfy chair to see this drama.


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