Components of the Iran-sextet nuclear deal

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Muharram 20, 1435 2013-11-24

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Details of the Iran-six powers interim nuclear deal have now been released. For limited sanctions relief (though the major sanctions would remain in place), Iran has agreed to cap its nuclear program at its present level. It has also agreed to provide access to IAEA inspectors. This allows a six-month time period for the parties to work on a comprehensive agreement. US allies Saudi Arabia and Israel are most upset over the deal.

Toronto,

November 24, 2013, 13:53 EST

When the Iran-sextet deal was first announced in the early hours of the morning today (Geneva time, 4:30 am, Toronto time 22:30 Saturday night), few details were announced.

Soon thereafter, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held a press conference to announce that Iran’s right to enrich uranium had been recognized. This was one of the sticking points in the last minute negotiations over the wording of the draft agreement.

At 5 am (Geneva time today), US Secretary of State held his own press conference where he insisted that the draft did not contain any specific mention of Iran’s inherent right to enrichment. But then he went on to say that Iran would limit its enrichment to 5 percent.

If Iran can enrich to 5 percent, this means, it has the right to enrich uranium. The issue of level of enrichment is a separate issue.

Why was Kerry so keen to talk up the restrictions imposed on Iran? He was actually addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who had been screaming mad against any such deal. The Zionists are bound to unleash their attack dogs in the US congress but the tide is turning against its obstructionist policy.

Following Kerry’s early morning appearance after a whole night of negotiations in Geneva, President Barack Obama held his own press conference (it was already very late in Washington on Saturday night) and said Iran, like other nations, had the “right to peaceful nuclear energy”. He also called the deal a “first step” in a very difficult process.

Political pundits are already discussing not only as to what precisely was agreed at Geneva but the other possibilities it opens up between long-time antagonists Iran and the US. If the momentum built over the last six weeks in Geneva is maintained in subsequent negotiations, the deal is bound to usher a “tectonic shift” in Middle East alliances, as Ian Black of the Guardian put it today (November 24).

This would affect two of America’s staunchest allies—Israel and Saudi Arabia—that incidentally have become bosom pals. The Zionist-Wahhabi alliance has come out into the open!

First, however, let us examine what each side has agreed to do. Since Iran has repeatedly stressed that it is not making the bomb, it has agreed to the following conditions:

  1. Halt enrichment above five per cent.
  2. Dismantle technical connections required to enrich above five per cent.
  3. Not install additional centrifuges of any type (Iran currently has 19,000).
  4. Not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium.
  5. Not construct additional enrichment facilities.
  6. Not commission or fuel Arak reactor (this was used as a sticking point by the French foreign minister in the last round of talks to derail an agreement on November
  7. Provide daily access to IAEA inspectors at Natanz and Fordow sites.
  8. Provide IAEA access to centrifuge assembly, production and storage facilities.
  9. Provide design information for Arak reactor.

What the six powers (the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) have agreed to do in return include the following:

  1. Not impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months (the interim deal is for six months)
  2. Allow purchases of Iranian oil at their current levels (giving Iran access to a partial sum of $4.2 billion in revenues out of a potential sale of $25 billion).
  3. Suspend sanctions on gold and precious metals, cars and petrochemical exports, potentially providing Iran another $1.5 billion.
  4. License safety-related repairs and inspections inside Iran for certain Iranian airlines.
  5. Allow $400m in governmental tuition assistance to be transferred from restricted funds directly to educational institutions in third countries to defray the tuition costs of Iranian students.

While the major sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors remain in place, the six-month period would test each side’s sincerity in arriving at a comprehensive solution that would result in continued monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the IAEA in return for complete lifting of all sanctions as the endgame.

END

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