Iran, World Reaches Initial Deal on Tehran's Nuclear Program

After postponing a decision for days, Iran and six world powers finally reached an agreement Thursday.  

European Union Foreign Affairs Minister Federica Mogherini announced the historic decision in a press conference from Lausanne, Switzerland saying, "Today, we have taken a decisive step.  We have reached solutions on key parameters for a comprehensive future nuclear deal."

The tentative agreement comes after eight days of talks in Switzerland which is contingent on reaching an agreement by June 30th with all current sanctions remaining in place until the final deal is reached. 

Mogherini also made it clear Iran would not be able to make weapons-grade fuel.  One of the sticking points in the negotiations, according to CNN, was when the sanctions for the nuclear weapons would be terminated.  Iran wanted them to be lifted immediately, but the United States wanted them to stay in place until Iran proves they will follow the terms of the deal.

So what exactly does the deal cover?

Reuters reporting, Iran agreed to reduced the number of installed uranium enrichment centrifuges it has to just over 6,000 from 19,000 and will only operate 5,060 under the future agreement with the six world powers. 

The problem with the uranium for the Western countries is that it can be used to make nuclear weapons, hoping to reduce the number made by reducing the number of centrifuges. 

On the other hand, Iran has always said it does not want to make nuclear weapons or bombs with the uranium and only wants it for a "peaceful nuclear energy program."

The U.S. fact sheet states Iran's breakout timeline will also be much longer.  The breakout timeline is basically the amount of time it would take to acquire enough fissile material for one weapon.  It would be extended to one year.  Currently it is about two to three months. 

Iran will gradually receive relief from U.S. and EU as it demonstrates compliance, but failure to comply with the terms will cause the original sanctions to return.

This deal as been going on for years with the negotiations finally coming to a head in Lausanne, taking eight days to come to any kind of agreement.

President Obama made a brief speech, calling the deal a "historic understanding" and something that was a long time coming.   He made it very clear, the Iran deal isn't based on trust, it's based on verification and if Iran cheats, the world will  know it. 

A final agreement "will make our country, our allies and our world safer," he said.

That final agreement should be completed by June 30.

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