Barack Obama sought to shrug off criticism that he had been naïve is seeking a compromise with Iran, saying the agreement was not built on trust, but on verification. “This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework this spring,” he said, “Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off, and the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place.
As residents in Tehran began to honk their horns in celebration, President Hassan Rouhani spoke of “a new chapter” in relations with the outside world.
The deal struck between Iran and the P5+1 (the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in Vienna in the early hours of July 14th was broadly in line with the parameters of the Lausanne accord of April 2nd referred to by Mr Obama. The framework understanding contained limitations on enrichment levels, centrifuge numbers (see chart) and types, and a cap on Iran’s stockpiles of low-enriched uranium. It also calls for the conversion of the Arak reactor to produce far less plutonium than the current design, and restricts research and development on more advanced centrifuges. Sunset dates for the various provisions, ranging from a decade to as long as 25 years were also established. In return, Iran will get relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy.
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