The P5+1 agreed to the “key parameters” of a nuclear deal with Iran after marathon talks in Switzerland, including “ceasing application” of all sanctions — a must-have demand of Iran at the negotiating table.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, appearing at a press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, said parties agreed to a “comprehensive lifting of all sanctions” in the deal that is “laying the agreed basis for the final text for the Joint Plan of Action.”
The deal will be for 10 years and allow Iran to keep about 6,000 centrifuges.
Mogherini said the agreement leaves “no other enrichment facility than Natanz” and allows International Atomic Energy Agency inspections that are “mutually agreed” upon.
Fordow will become “a nuclear physics and technology center,” she said. “There will not be any fissile material at Fordow.”
Construction of the Arak heavy water reactor will continue; Mogherini said it “will not produce weapons-grade plutonium.”
They agreed on a “set of measures to monitor provisions” of the deal, including “announced access” to permit IAEA inspections.
Iran will take part in civilian nuclear energy programs, she said, including international efforts on nuclear safety and security.
The European Union and the United States “will cease the application of all sanctions,” Mogherini said, upon verification by IAEA of implementation.
The deal reportedly includes a “snap-back” provision to reimpose EU and U.S. sanctions if Iran violates the deal, though congressional lawmakers have consistently pointed out that these sanctions regimes take months or years to take effect.
“None of those measures include closing our facilities; the proud people of Iran will not accept that. We will continue enriching,” Zarif declared. “…We will focus our enrichment in Natanz” and “focus on other activities” at Fordow while keeping centrifuges there.
“When we implement our measures, there will be no sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Zarif stressed “there is an agreement that all Security Council resolutions will be terminated.”
President Obama emerged in the Rose Garden to declare victory on his “historic agreement” with Iran.
“If this framework leads to a final comprehensive deal it will make our country, our allies and our world safer,” Obama said. “…Because of our diplomatic efforts, the world stood with us.”
“It is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives” and cuts off “every pathway” to a nuclear weapon. “If Iran cheats, the world will know it.”
Obama said the sanctions relief will be “phased” without being clear on a timeline. Iran insisted on no less than sanctions relief as soon as the deal is signed.
He protested against a sanctions regime as something that has made Iran “not capitulate,” and argued against military action, stating that Iran won’t give up its nuclear weapons “because we command it to do so.”
The president generally addressed the “inevitable critics” of the deal, saying they should ask if it’s a “worse option than another war in the Middle East.”
Obama said he would be calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later today and called Saudi King Salman earlier.
“In the coming days and weeks my administration will engage Congress once again,” he said, promising lobbying against Iran bills likely to come to the floor after recess, calling the deal “bigger than politics, these are matters of war and peace.”
“This is not simply a deal between my administration and Iran,” Obama said. “If Congress kills this deal… then it’s the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy. International unity will collapse.”
Obama’s remarks were carried live on state TV in Iran.
Secretary of State John Kerry waited until after Obama spoke to deliver remarks in Switzerland, calling the agreement a “solid foundation for the good deal we are seeking.”
“Simply demanding that Iran capitulate makes a nice soundbite, but is not a policy,” Kerry said, adding he has “no illusion that we have a ways to travel before we arrive at the destination we seek.”
“I sincerely hope that members will continue to give us the time and space that we need to explain the agreement that we’ve reached,” he said of congressional efforts.
Neither Obama nor Kerry mentioned the four Americans held in Iran: Amir Hekmati, Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, and Bob Levinson.