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Iran-Super Powers Strike Historic Deal
Jul 16, 2015

On 14 July, Major Powers (United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) clinched a historic deal aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Iran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West. 

Reached after 18 days of marathon talks in Vienna, the accord is aimed at resolving a 13-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions after repeated diplomatic failures and threats of military action.

Key Points

  • The deal puts strict limits on Iran’s nuclear activities for at least a decade.

  • Iran must remove two-thirds of installed centrifuges and store them under international supervision. 

  • Iran will slash by around two-thirds the number of centrifuges from around 19,000 to 6,104.

  • Get rid of 98 percent of its enriched uranium.

  • Accept that sanctions would be restored if accord was violated.

  • Permanently give IAEA access where necessary when necessary.  

  • Iran will allow the UN atomic watchdog tightly-controlled managed access to military base.

  • The international arms embargo against Iran will remain for five years but deliveries would be possible with special permission of the UN Security Council

  • American Congress must still approve the nuclear deal.

The landmark deal is expected to sharply curb Iran's nuclear programme and impose strict UN inspections in order to make any drive to make nuclear weapons all but impossible and easily detectable.

In return, the web of UN and Western sanctions choking Iranian oil exports and the economy of the country of 78 million people would be progressively lifted. 

The IAEA has long sought to probe allegations that at least until 2003 Iran's nuclear programme had possible military dimensions that it conducted research into making a nuclear bomb.

Iran has always rejected the allegations as based on faulty intelligence provided by its enemies to a gullible and biased IAEA, and a probe has been stalled since last year.

The diplomatic push began when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came to power in 2013. In November that year an interim deal was agreed but two deadlines in 2014 for a lasting accord were missed.

The agreement may lead to more cooperation between Iran and the USA at a particularly explosive time in the Middle East with the emergence last year of the Islamic State group, a common enemy, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq.

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