Daily Video

November 25, 2013

U.S. and Iran Reach Historic Agreement Over Nuclear Program


Over the weekend, the U.S. and Iran reached a historic agreement aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. The deal halts some of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, and neutralizes the country’s stockpile of uranium that is near nuclear bomb capability. This video describes the lead up to negotiations, the goals of international diplomats and opposition from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said a deal would be “a mistake of historic proportions.”

Iran also agreed to new transparency measures, and will allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect their nuclear facilities on a daily basis. In return, the U.S. and other countries will lift economic sanctions that have all but destroyed Iran’s economy, making it hard to buy basic necessities and do business on the global market.

Although the Obama administration is hailing the deal as a major breakthrough, Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that their work was far from over.

“The next phase, let me be clear, will be even more difficult, and we need to be honest about it,” he said. “But it will also be even more consequential.”

The administration is also hoping Iran’s concessions will encourage lawmakers to halt attempts at pushing new economic sanctions on Iran.

Iranian officials also welcomed the deal, with President Hassan Rouhani emphasizing the right of his country to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

“Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before,” he said.

Tensions between Iran and Western countries and their allies have lessened since President Rouhani, a moderate, took over from his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier this year.

Warm up questions
  1. Where is Iran? What do you know about the country’s government, people, culture, history and religion?
  2. What is the relationship between Iran and the United States? Why has the U.S. enforced sanctions on Iran?
  3. What have the recent talks between Iran and the world leaders been about?
  4. What are economic sanctions and how are they implemented?
  5.  What is the P5 +1?
    • The term refers to the P5 or five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany.(Source: Wikipedia)
Discussion questions
  1. What is the big deal about Iran wanting to build a nuclear weapon?
  2. Why are the talks being held in Geneva?
  3. What are the goals of the negotiation for:
    1. Iran?
    2. Everyone else?
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