Iran agrees to curb nuclear activity at Geneva talks

| November 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

2013-11-10T004226Z_1654707544_GM1E9BA0NIX01_RTRMADP_3_IRAN-NUCLEARrz

Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities in return for aeound $7 billion (£4.3bn) in sanctions relief, after days of intense talks in Geneva. Iran agreed to give better access to inspectors and halt some of its work on uranium enrichment. President Rouhani said the interim deal recognised Iran’s nuclear “rights”. But he repeated, in a nationwide broadcast, that his country would never seek a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies repeated claims by Western governments that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. It insists it must be allowed to enrich uranium to use in power stations.

The deal comes just months after Iran elected Rouhani – regarded as a relative moderate – as its new president, in place of the hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It has also been backed by Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

After four days of negotiations, representatives of the so-called P5+1 group of nations – the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany – reached an agreement with Iran in the early hours of Sunday.

Key points of the deal have been released by the White House:

  • Iran will stop enriching uranium beyond 5%, the level at which it can be used for weapons research, and reduce its stockpile of uranium enriched beyond this point;
  • Iran will give greater access to inspectors including daily access at Natanz and Fordo nuclear sites;
  • there will be no further development of the Arak plant which it is believed could produce plutonium;
  • in return, there will be no new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, and;
  • Iran will also receive sanctions relief worth about $7bn (£4.3bn) on sectors including precious metals.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the agreement would make the region safer for its allies, including Israel.

But the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet it was a “historic mistake” and that his country reserved the right to defend itself.

“Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world,” he said.

At a later news conference, Mr Netanyahu said Israel would not be bound by the agreement.

“We cannot and will not allow a regime that calls for the destruction of Israel to obtain the means to achieve this goal.

“Israel has many friends and allies, but when they’re mistaken, its my duty to speak out.”

 

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