MS Risk Blog

Iran Signs Historic Nuclear Agreement with World Powers

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On Tuesday, major powers reached an agreement with Tehran aimed at ensuring that the country does not obtain a nuclear bomb and which will also open up the country’s stricken economy.

The agreement, which was reached on day 18 of marathon talks in Vienna, is aimed at ending a 13-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions after repeated diplomatic failures and threats of military action. Both Iran and the European Union have hailed the agreement as a new chapter of hope for the world. At the start of a final meeting to formally sign off on the accord, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stated, “I think this is a sign of hope for the entire world and we all know this is very much needed in this time,” adding, “it is a decision that can open the way to a new chapter in international elations and show that diplomacy, coordination, cooperation can over come decades of tensions and confrontation.” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that the agreement is a “historic moment,” noting, “we are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody but it is what we could accomplish and it is an important achievement for all of us.” The agreement effectively places strict limits on Iran’s nuclear activities for at least a decade and calls for stringent UN oversight, with world powers hoping that this will make any attempts to make an atomic bomb virtually impossible. In return, international sanctions will be lifted and billions of dollars in frozen assets will be unblocked. The agreement, which was built on a framework in April is US President Barack Obama’s crowning foreign policy achievement and comes six years after he told Iran’s leaders that if they “unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.” The agreement may also lead to further cooperation between Washington and Tehran.

The head of the UN atomic watchdog announced Tuesday that he has signed with Iran a “roadmap” for probing suspected efforts to develop nuclear weapons, a key part of an overall accord with major powers. Ahead of the expected announcement of the historic agreement with major powers, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukya Amano stated that he “…just signed the roadmap between the Islamic republic of Iran and the IAEA for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme,” adding that he aims to issue a report on the watchdog’s investigation by 15 December. According to Amano, the roadmap “sets out a clear sequence of activities over the coming months, including the provision by Iran of explanations regarding outstanding issues. It provides for technical expert meetings, technical measures and discussions, as well as a separate arrangement regarding the issue of (Iranian military base) Parchin,” adding “this should enable me to issue a report setting out the Agency’s final assessment of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme, for the action of the IAEA board of Governors, by 15 December 2015.” The wider accord between six major powers and Iran is expected to be announced in Vienna later on Tuesday.

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