Iran, World powers reach ‘historic’ nuclear deal
As anticipated Monday, the six world powers in negotiations with Iran in Vienna have reached a historic deal that permits Tehran to restart its nuclear activity in a limited way, in return for the lifting international oil and financial sanctions.
The landmark agreement brings to an end a 12-year standoff that had threatened to trigger a new war in the Middle East, and potentially marking the beginning of a new era in relations between Iran and the West.
The pact follows 18 days of almost uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna involving foreign ministers from the seven countries involved —Iran, US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany — and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.
In an early morning appearance at the White House that was broadcast live in Iran, President Barack Obama said the comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme was “not built on trust, but on verification.”
He added the accord will keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years and impose new provisions for inspections of Iranian facilities, including military sites.
In Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said "a new chapter" has begun in his nation's relations with the world.
The agreement will now starts a new phase of intense negotiation. This time, the Obama administration will have to deal with the Republican members of the U.S. Congress, which have long been working to thwart today’s agreement.
Global oil prices took a tumble following the announcement. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery shed $1.05 to hit $51.15 a barrel compared with Monday's close.
Expectations of an agreement had already dragged oil prices down, with ICE August Brent — the international benchmark — losing over 10% since early July and trading below $57 a barrel on Tuesday.
Iran has the world’s fourth-largest proven crude oil and the second-biggest natural gas reserves.
Watch Obama's entire statement on the Iran deal: