Iran, world powers reach agreement on nuclear deal

by Leigh Jones
Posted 7/14/15, 10:10 am

Iranian officials finally reached an agreement with international negotiators today on a deal to curb the country’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Under the terms of the deal, which has been months in the making, Iran will get access to $100 billion in frozen overseas assets and an end to the European oil embargo. International regulators also will ease various restrictions on Iranian banks. In exchange, Iran has agreed not to produce enough nuclear material to create a bomb for 10 years and allow inspection teams to visit nuclear sites, including military facilities. The current UN arms embargo will last for at least another five years, and a ban on ballistic missile technology transfers to Iran will last at least another eight years.

“This deal offers the opportunity to move in a new direction,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in remarks from the White House broadcast live on Iranian state television. “We should seize it.”

In his own comments about the deal, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said his country never sought to manufacture a nuclear weapon. He said the deal marked a “new chapter” in his country’s dealings with the rest of the world.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the negotiations took so long because America and its partners were not willing to settle for a lesser deal.

Despite the Obama administration’s optimism, the deal could face tough opposition in Congress, where lawmakers have 60 days to approve the terms. The inspections process is sure to raise questions. Under the deal, Tehran can challenge UN inspections requests, triggering an arbitration process that could give scientists enough time to hide any illegal activity at nuclear sites before inspectors arrive.

U.S. lawmakers are meeting this morning to discuss the deal and its ramifications.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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