houston news, houston local news, breaking news in houston, houston weather at newscast media





















Obama: Geneva agreement halts Iran's nuclear program

joseph earnest newscastmedia.com

President Barack Obama—Photo by Joseph Earnest


by Joseph Earnest  November 25, 2013


Newscast Media WASHINGTON—President Obama says an agreement reached between the six world powers and Iran in Geneva is an initial step that will halt progress of the Iranian nuclear program for the first time in a decade.

"These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon," Obama said in a nationally televised address November 23.

"Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program," the president said, adding, "If Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure."

The initial steps agreed upon by six major powers and Iran will provide limited, temporary, targeted and reversible relief to Iran, senior administration officials said during a background briefing from Washington. This agreement does not recognize that Iran has a right to process uranium or plutonium, which is essential in building nuclear weapons.

Under the terms of the deal, Iran committed to halt certain levels of uranium enrichment and neutralizing part of its uranium stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used in the process for enriching uranium.

In addition, Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited, the president said. Iran will halt work at its Arak plutonium reactor, and new inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. These inspections will allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments, the president said.

"On our side, the United States and our friends and allies have agreed to provide Iran with modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions," Obama said.

The breakthrough came at the end of five days of often tedious and detailed negotiations among six major powers – the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – negotiating with Iran in Geneva, and hosted by Lady Catherine Ashton, the European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers and representatives from the six nations joined in the talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif late November 22. The initial agreement was announced in Geneva early on November 24.

At a briefing in Geneva, Kerry told journalists that "the measures that we have committed to will remain in place for six months, and they will address the most urgent concerns about Iran’s nuclear program."

The agreement, which contains a stringent verification and inspection process spearheaded by the IAEA, impedes progress that will roll back the stockpile of existing enriched uranium that would be necessary for development of nuclear weapons, Kerry said. Iran has agreed to suspend all uranium enrichment above 5 percent, and also has agreed to dilute or convert its entire stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium.

"That means that whereas Iran today has about 200 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium, they could readily be enriched towards a nuclear weapon," Kerry said. "In six months, Iran will have zero – zero."

He added that “Iran has agreed to submit its program to unprecedented monitoring,” to ensure that these commitments are met.

Kerry said this first step does not say that Iran has a right to enrichment of uranium or plutonium. It does say that Iran’s nuclear program is subject to negotiation and to mutual agreement.

Under the agreement, the international community provides Iran with limited economic relief in return for these measures in the first step, Kerry said, but that relief is reversible if Iran fails to meet its obligations.

The international community will permit humanitarian transactions that already are permitted by U.S. law, Kerry said, and do not provide Iran with any new sources of outside funding. The core architecture of economic sanctions put in place by the international community remains in place during this six-month period, including sanctions on oil and financial services, he added.

Obama said diplomacy has opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure and a future in which the world can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and cannot be used to build a nuclear weapon. The November 24 agreement, reached after extensive negotiations by senior diplomats from six nations and Iran, reflects Obama’s commitment from 2009 when he began his presidency to see a diplomatic resolution to the threat posed by a nuclear armed Iran.

If the interim agreement holds and Iran meets is obligations, Obama said, then the six nations and Iran will begin negotiating "final-stage" agreements to halt Iran from building nuclear weapons, and to begin dismantling long-standing economic and political sanctions imposed by the international community, led by the U.N. Security Council, the United States, the European Union and others. Add Comments>>















       Find newscast media on youtube for houston news and local breaking news        get newscast media news feeds for breaking news, houston local news and world news.          Get our facebook updates on world news, houston news and houston local news including sports         Twitter

 Join the Newscast Media social networks

for current events and multimedia content. 






 Copyright© Newscast Media. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Privacy Policy