Vienna (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Iran and the 5+1 Group (the five permanent members of the Security Council, United States US, Russia, China, Great Britain and France, plus Germany) have reached an agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. At the same time, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had also signed a "roadmap" with Iran.
For France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, "It's a matter of days" before the UN Security Council considers a resolution approving the deal.” Meanwhile, based on statements by political leaders and diplomats, the 100-page unreleased text should include limit on the Iranian nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Under the terms of the agreement, United Nations inspectors would be allowed to monitor military sites, including the Parchin military site, but Iran could challenge requests for access. However, Tehran has accepted that sanctions could be restored in 65 days if it violates the deal.
Although a UN arms embargo and missile sanctions would remain in place for five and eight years respectively, Iran and IAEA have agreed on a plan to address outstanding questions about the possible military dimensions of past Iranian nuclear activity by the end of this year.
Shortly after reports of the deal emerged, IAEA head Yukiya Amano told reporters in Vienna that his organisation had signed a roadmap "for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear programme".
In view of this, he called the agreement a "significant step forward", saying it would allow the agency to "make an assessment of issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme by the end of 2015".
Obama praised the deal, saying that it met the goals he had in place throughout negotiations.
"Today after two years of negotiation the United States together with the international community has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon". However, the US leader stressed that "This deal is not built on trust - it is built on verification.”
For his part, Russian President Putin said the countries negotiating the Iran nuclear deal made a "hard choice for stability and co-operation.” Welcoming the agreement, he said that now "the world can breathe a sigh of relief".
At a news conference, the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said, “Today is a historic day. It is a great honour for us to announce that we have reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue.”
“We delivered on what the world was hoping for, a shared commitment to peace. [. . .] No one ever thought it would be easy, historic decisions never are. We have always been aware we have a responsibility to our generations and future ones.
“We have today agreed on the final text for the joint cooperation plan for action. [. . .] “But what we are announcing today is not only a deal, it is a good deal for all sides.”
What is more, "Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons".
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reacted upbeat to the announcement, tweeting “IranDeal shows constructive engagement works. With this unnecessary crisis resolved, new horizons emerge with a focus on shared challenges. [V]ictory of diplomacy and mutual respect over outdated paradigm of exclusion and coercion. And this will be good beginning.”
For Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif, the deal represents a “triumph of diplomacy”. In his view, “we all will have won when we all could have lost. Plain and simple; no spin needed.”
But not everyone is happy. Following the news, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted as saying that Iran would receive a "sure path to nuclear weapons" and "a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars".
Now, the agreement must go before national parliaments for ratification. And many observers expect great opposition among hard-liners in Iran and the United States.
In fact, the “hostility between Iran and the United States is here to stay,” noted Iranian news agency Fars.
“Whatever happens in Vienna,” it said in an editorial, “Tehran will continue to safeguard its technical and scientific achievements, particularly its sovereign nuclear program. At the same time, Tehran will continue to support its allies and work for peace and security throughout the region.
Hence, “Whatever happens in Vienna, the road ahead will still be that of resistance [. . .]. As maintained by Ayatollah Khamenei, the struggle against the arrogant powers and their divide and rule techniques has only just begun.”