After nearly a decade of diplomatic efforts, culminating in weeks of wrangling and late-night sessions in Vienna, negotiators emerged with a final deal Tuesday to prevent Iran from making a nuclear bomb.
“Today could have been the end of hope on this issue. Today we are starting a new chapter of hope. Let’s consider this everybody’s achievement,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Vienna.
“With courage, political will, mutual respect and leadership, we delivered on what the world was hoping for: a shared commitment on peace and joining hands in order to make our world safer,” said Federica Mogherini , the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Negotiators from the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, China and European Union worked with Iran on a long-term pact to ensure its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, something the Islamic republic has maintained from the start. It still must get congressional approval and endorsement from the U.N. Security Council.
Here are the key terms of the deal:
- The agreement places limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment and enrichment-related activities for eight years, followed by allowable enrichment activities for peaceful energy purposes.
- Iran must store excess centrifuges under continuous International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring.
- For 15 years, Iran will keep its uranium stockpile to under 300 kg of up to 3.67 percent enriched uranium.
- Iran will end uranium enrichment at the Fordow facility and turn it into nuclear, physics and technology center.
- Iran will redesign and rebuild the heavy water research reactor in Arak to support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production for medical and industrial purposes.
- Iran will ship to another country all spent fuel for all future and present power and research nuclear reactors.
- International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors will have access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, including monitoring uranium ore concentrate produced by Iran for 25 years, and containing and monitoring centrifuge rotors for 20 years.
- Iran will not engage in activities, including research and development, that could lead to the development of a nuclear explosive device.
- The deal relieves some sanctions if Iran shows it is following the agreement. The United States is not removing its trade embargo on Iran or sanctions related to its support of terrorist networks, senior administration officials said in a conference call with reporters.
- If Iran violates terms of the accord, sanctions will “snap back,” President Barack Obama said.