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News, November 2013
Text of Iran-Powers Nuclear Deal, Obama and Zarif Statements About Iran's Nuclear Activities,
November 23, 2013
Full Text of Iran-Powers Nuclear Deal
After the White House released a modified version of the deal struck by Iran and the six world powers in Geneva early Sunday morning, the Iranian Foreign Ministry released the text of the agreement.
The full text of the deal is as follows:
Geneva, 24 November 2013
The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran's nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. This comprehensive solution would build on these initial measures and result in a final step for a period to be agreed upon and the resolution of concerns. This comprehensive solution would enable Iran to fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the NPT in conformity with its obligations therein. This comprehensive solution would involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the programme. This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This comprehensive solution would involve a reciprocal, step-bystep process, and would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme.
There would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step, including, among other things, addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Council's consideration of this matter. The E3+3 and Iran will be responsible for conclusion and implementation of mutual near-term measures and the comprehensive solution in good faith. A Joint Commission of E3/EU+3 and Iran will be established to monitor the implementation of the near-term measures and address issues that may arise, with the IAEA responsible for verification of nuclear-related measures. The Joint Commission will work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern.
Elements of a first step The first step would be time-bound, with a duration of 6 months, and renewable by mutual consent, during which all parties will work to maintain a constructive atmosphere for negotiations in good faith. Iran would undertake the following voluntary measures:
· From the existing uranium enriched to 20%, retain half as working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the TRR. Dilute the remaining 20% UF6 to no more than 5%. No reconversion line.
· Iran announces that it will not enrich uranium over 5% for the duration of the 6 months.
· Iran announces that it will not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant1, Fordow2, or the Arak reactor3, designated by the IAEA as IR-40.
· Beginning when the line for conversion of UF6 enriched up to 5% to UO2 is ready, Iran has decided to convert to oxide UF6 newly enriched up to 5% during the 6 month period, as provided in the operational schedule of the conversion plant declared to the IAEA.
· No new locations for the enrichment.
· Iran will continue its safeguarded R&D practices, including its current enrichment R&D practices, which are not designed for accumulation of the enriched uranium.
· No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.
· Enhanced monitoring:
o Provision of specified information to the IAEA, including information on Iran's plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material. This information would be provided within three months of the adoption of these measures.
o Submission of an updated DIQ for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40, to the IAEA.
o Steps to agree with the IAEA on conclusion of the Safeguards Approach for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.
o Daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz.
o IAEA inspector managed access to:
centrifuge assembly workshops4;
centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and, uranium mines and mills.
1 Namely, during the 6 months, Iran will not feed UF6 into the centrifuges installed but not enriching uranium. Not install additional centrifuges. Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.
2 At Fordow, no further enrichment over 5% at 4 cascades now enriching uranium, and not increase enrichment capacity. Not
feed UF6 into the other 12 cascades, which would remain in a non-operative state. No interconnections between cascades.
Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.
3 Iran announces on concerns related to the construction of the reactor at Arak that for 6 months it will not commission the reactor or transfer fuel or heavy water to the reactor site and will not test additional fuel or produce more fuel for the reactor or install remaining components.
4 Consistent with its plans, Iran's centrifuge production during the 6 months will be dedicated to replace damaged machines.
In return, the E3/EU+3 would undertake the following voluntary measures:
· Pause efforts to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales, enabling Iran's current customers to purchase their current average amounts of crude oil. Enable the repatriation of an agreed amount of revenue held abroad. For such oil sales, suspend the EU and U.S. sanctions on associated insurance and transportation services.
· Suspend U.S. and EU sanctions on:
o Iran's petrochemical exports, as well as sanctions on associated services.5 o Gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions on associated services.
· Suspend U.S. sanctions on Iran's auto industry, as well as sanctions on associated services.
· License the supply and installation in Iran of spare parts for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services. License safety related inspections and repairs in Iran as well as associated services.6
· No new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions.
· No new EU nuclear-related sanctions.
· The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the
Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.
· Establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iran's domestic needs using Iranian oil revenues held abroad. Humanitarian trade would be defined as transactions involving food and agricultural products, medicine, medical devices, and medical expenses incurred abroad. This channel would involve specified foreign banks and non-designated Iranian banks to be defined when establishing the channel.
o This channel could also enable:
transactions required to pay Iran's UN obligations; and, direct tuition payments to universities and colleges for Iranian students studying abroad, up to an agreed amount for the six month period.
· Increase the EU authorisation thresholds for transactions for non-sanctioned trade to an agreed amount.
5 "Sanctions on associated services" means any service, such as insurance, transportation, or financial, subject to the underlying U.S. or EU sanctions applicable, insofar as each service is related to the underlying sanction and required to facilitate the desired transactions. These services could involve any non-designated Iranian entities.
6 Sanctions relief could involve any non-designated Iranian airlines as well as Iran Air.
Elements of the final step of a comprehensive solution*
The final step of a comprehensive solution, which the parties aim to conclude negotiating and commence implementing no more than one year after the adoption of this document, would:
· Have a specified long-term duration to be agreed upon.
· Reflect the rights and obligations of parties to the NPT and IAEA Safeguards Agreements.
· Comprehensively lift UN Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy, on a schedule to be agreed upon.
· Involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon.
· Fully resolve concerns related to the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.
No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.
· Fully implement the agreed transparency measures and enhanced monitoring. Ratify and implement the Additional Protocol, consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Majlis (Iranian parliament).
· Include international civil nuclear cooperation, including among others, on acquiring modern light water power and research reactors and associated equipment, and the supply of modern nuclear fuel as well as agreed R&D practices.
Following successful implementation of the final step of the comprehensive solution for its full duration, the Iranian nuclear programme will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.
* With respect to the final step and any steps in between, the standard principle that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed" applies.
Statement By President Obama On First Step Agreement On Iran's Nuclear Program
Today, the United States -- together with our close allies and partners -- took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.
Since I took office, I’ve made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As I’ve said many times, my strong preference is to resolve this issue peacefully, and we’ve extended the hand of diplomacy. Yet for many years, Iran has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community. So my administration worked with Congress, the United Nations Security Council and countries around the world to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government.
These sanctions have had a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, and with the election of a new Iranian President earlier this year, an opening for diplomacy emerged. I spoke personally with President Rouhani of Iran earlier this fall. Secretary Kerry has met multiple times with Iran’s Foreign Minister. And we have pursued intensive diplomacy -- bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5-plus-1 partners -- the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.
Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure -- a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.
While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited. Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor. And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments.
These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb. 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. And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program.
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. We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions. But the broader architecture of sanctions will remain in place and we will continue to enforce them vigorously. And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure.
Over the next six months, we will work to negotiate a comprehensive solution. We approach these negotiations with a basic understanding: Iran, like any nation, should be able to access peaceful nuclear energy. But because of its record of violating its obligations, Iran must accept strict limitations on its nuclear program that make it impossible to develop a nuclear weapon.
In these negotiations, nothing will be agreed to unless everything is agreed to. The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes.
If Iran seizes this opportunity, the Iranian people will benefit from rejoining the international community, and we can begin to chip away at the mistrust between our two nations. This would provide Iran with a dignified path to forge a new beginning with the wider world based on mutual respect. If, on the other hand, Iran refuses, it will face growing pressure and isolation.
Over the last few years, Congress has been a key partner in imposing sanctions on the Iranian government, and that bipartisan effort made possible the progress that was achieved today. Going forward, we will continue to work closely with Congress. However, now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions -– because doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies and risk unraveling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place.
That international unity is on display today. The world is united in support of our determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran must know that security and prosperity will never come through the pursuit of nuclear weapons -- it must be reached through fully verifiable agreements that make Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons impossible.
As we go forward, the resolve of the United States will remain firm, as will our commitments to our friends and allies –- particularly Israel and our Gulf partners, who have good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions.
Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict. Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it.
The first step that we’ve taken today marks the most significant and tangible progress that we’ve made with Iran since I took office. And now we must use the months ahead to pursue a lasting and comprehensive settlement that would resolve an issue that has threatened our security -- and the security of our allies -- for decades. It won’t be easy, and huge challenges remain ahead. But through strong and principled diplomacy, the United States of America will do our part on behalf of a world of greater peace, security, and cooperation among nations.
Thank you very much.
Iranian FM: Iran to Continue Nuclear Activities
Iran will continue its nuclear enrichment program, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said after five days of marathon talks between Iran and the six world powers led to the endorsement of a deal early on Sunday.
“The (nuclear) program has been recognized and the Iranian people’s right to use the peaceful nuclear technology based on the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and as an inalienable right has been recognized and countries are necessitated not to create any obstacle on its way,” Zarif said in a press conference in Geneva on Saturday morning.
“The (nuclear) program will continue and all the sanctions and violations against the Iranian nation under the pretext of the nuclear program will be removed gradually,” he added.
He said the next six months will be a serious start towards “the full removal of all UN Security Council, unilateral and multilateral sanctions, while the country’s enrichment program will be maintained." "Production of 5-percent-enriched uranium will continue in the country similar the past,” Zarif continued.
“None of the enrichment centers will be closed and Fordo and Natanz will continue their work and the Arak heavy water program will continue in its present form and no material (enriched uranium stockpiles) will be taken out of the country and all the enriched materials will remain inside the country. The current sanctions will move towards decrease, no sanctions will be imposed and Iran’s financial resources will return,” he continued.
Stressing that Iran’s nuclear case is moving towards normalization, the Iranian top diplomat said, “An unnecessary crisis which was used by the ill-wishers is moving towards settlement with God’s help and the efforts of all the involved officials. The fire of conflicts in the region was prevented and the plots of the ill-wishers of the Iranian nation were foiled and they saw that they can’t prevent manifestation of the realities about the Iranian nation with lies, hues and cries and deception.”
“This is a great success that the attempts made by the Zionist regime’s leaders to misrepresent Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and the Iranian people’s face were foiled,” he said.
“We saw that a power which claimed that it can control the public opinion was empty,” Zarif said.
“I hope that we can reach the goals designed by the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) and constantly pursued by the Iranian nation with solidarity and sympathy and consensus," he said.
“It is an action plan in four pages, whose English version has no clause and has been regulated in three stages and its goals are within the framework of an introduction."
"Iran's enrichment program has been recognized both in the first step and in the goals section and in the final step as well,” Zarif said.
“The fact that all these pressures have failed to cease Iran's enrichment program is a very important success for the Iranian nation’s resistance,” he added.
He said the agreement includes practical assurances, and said "a joint commission of Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) responsible for supervising its implementation by both sides" is that assurance.
“This step will take six months and we haven't started it as a sectional move, rather we have started it as a long-term goal; and paving the ground for a complete removal of the problem through this first step is our goal.”
Noting that all the measures are reversible in the first step--the first six-month-period-- he said, “If we see any breach occurs in the commitments of the other side, and I hope that it will not happen, there will be a possibility for reversing (the actions). We are not in such a status to accept implementing the agreement unilaterally, if the other side doesn’t comply with its undertakings.”
“With open eyes and by fully protecting the people’s rights, if, God forbid, we come to this conclusion that the other side has misused the created opportunity, we will surely have other choices (to pick up),” Zarif underlined.
Iran and the G5+1 reached an agreement in Geneva on Sunday after five days of intense negotiatiions since Wednesday and holding several rounds of talks in the past few years.
GENEVA, Sunday, November 24, 2013, 6:05am EST
Iran and six world powers clinched a deal on Sunday curbing the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for initial sanctions relief, signaling the start of a game-changing rapprochement that could ease the risk of a wider Middle East war.
Aimed at ending a long festering standoff, the interim pact between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia won the critical endorsement of Iranian clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
U.S. President Barack Obama said the deal struck after marathon, tortuous and politically charged negotiations cut off Tehran's potential path to a nuclear weapon. But Israel, Iran's arch-enemy, denounced the agreement as an "historic mistake".
Halting Iran's most sensitive nuclear work, its higher-grade enrichment of uranium, it was tailored as a package of confidence-building steps towards reducing decades of tension and banish the specter of war over Iran's nuclear aspirations.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who has been coordinating diplomatic contacts with Iran on behalf of the major powers, said it created time and space for follow-up talks on a comprehensive solution to the dispute.
"This is only a first step," said Iranian Foreign Minister and chief negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif. "We need to start moving in the direction of restoring confidence, a direction which we have managed to move against in the past."
Hard-pressed by sanctions, many Iranians were elated by the breakthrough and prospect of economic improvement. The Iranian rial currency, decimated earlier this year due to sanctions, jumped more than 3 percent on news of the deal on Sunday.
Obama said that if Iran did not meet its commitments during the six-month period covered by the interim deal, Washington would turn off the tap of sanctions relief and "ratchet up the pressure".
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the deal as it left the nuclear fuel-producing infrastructure of its arch-foe intact. "What was achieved last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it was a historic mistake," he said.
"Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world's most dangerous weapon," he said in public remarks to his cabinet.
Nevertheless, the big power foreign ministers appeared relieved and elated after Ashton read out a statement proclaiming the deal in the middle of the night at the United Nations office in Geneva.
Ashton and Kerry U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hugged each other. Kerry and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov shook hands. Minutes later, as Iran's delegation posed for photos, Zarif and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius embraced. France had taken the hardest line on Iran in recent talks.
The West has long suspected that Iran has been seeking covertly to develop a nuclear weapons capability. The Islamic Republic, a major oil producer, denies that, saying its nuclear program is a peaceful quest for an alternative source of electricity to serve a rapidly expanding population.
The United States said the deal halts advances in Iran's nuclear program, including construction of the Arak heavy-water reactor that deeply worries the West as it could yield plutonium, another atomic bomb ingredient, once operational.
It would neutralize Iran's stockpile of uranium refined to a concentration of 20 percent, which is a close step away from the level needed for weapons, and calls for enhanced, more frequent U.N. nuclear inspections, a senior U.S. official said.
A U.S. fact sheet said Iran has also committed to suspending enrichment above a fissile purity of 5 percent - the threshold suitable for running nuclear power stations, which is Iran's stated purpose. Refined uranium also provides the fissile core of an atomic bomb if refined to a high degree.
In return, Iran could obtain access to $1.5 billion in revenue from trade in gold and precious metals and the suspension of some sanctions on its automotive sector, and see its petrochemical exports revive.
But Iranian oil exports would remain for now at their currently significantly reduced levels. "$4.2 billion from these sales will be allowed to be transferred in installments if, and as, Iran fulfils its commitments," a White House fact sheet said.
Much of the sanctions infrastructure, anchored by a Western embargo on Iranian crude oil and a ban on Iranian use of the international banking system, would remain in place pending a final deal aimed at removing all risk of an Iranian atom bomb.
"The approximately $7 billion in relief is a fraction of the costs that Iran will continue to incur during this first phase under the sanctions that will remain in place," the White House document said. "The vast majority of Iran's approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings are inaccessible or restricted."
Relief from sanctions is to begin in two to three weeks, Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Zarif as saying.
The deal does not recognize an Iranian right to enrich uranium, U.S. officials said.
Leaders of the Islamic Republic, nevertheless, welcomed the accord and insisted it did amount to a recognition of what they say is Tehran's right to enrich uranium.
"This can be the basis for further intelligent actions. Without a doubt the grace of God and the prayers of the Iranian nation were a factor in this success," Khamenei, who has the ultimate say on policy in Iran, wrote in a letter to President Hassan Rouhani published by the state news agency IRNA.
Rouhani, a moderate elected by a landslide in June promising "constructive engagement" with the world and relief from sanctions, said the "outcome of these negotiations is that the ... world powers have recognized Iran's nuclear rights".
Rouhani's attempts to repair diplomatic bridges broken by his bellicose predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his success in winning the backing of Khamenei reignited negotiations which had dragged on inconclusively, with the two sides talks reciting irreconcilable positions to each other, for 10 years.
"Ultimately, it is the Iranian people and the American people who deserve the most credit. Both are responsible for this initial victory by rejecting defeatists who said that a brighter future was not possible (and) diplomacy could not succeed," said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) think-tank.
But many obstacles remain, he cautioned. "Hardliners in both countries will work harder than ever to sabotage this pivot towards a diplomatic path. Those whose only currency is confrontation will search for any opportunities they can find to undermine and sabotage this interim deal."
For now though, many Iranians were joyful. A post in Farsi by Zarif announcing the deal on his Facebook page received 47,979 "likes" in two hours. There was an outpouring of gratitude and many described him as a "national hero".
"Dear Doctor Zarif ... Your efforts have filled the hearts of the whole nation with happiness," wrote Shayrin Shamshirband.
"I am writing this comment with my eyes filled with tears. Thank you for everything ... After many years, you have returned happiness to the people. You have restored hope in our hearts and pride in my country," commented Mehrnoosh Mohebi.
Kerry said the agreement would make it harder for Iran to make a dash to build a nuclear weapon and would make Israel and other U.S. allies safer.
He also told a late night Geneva news conference that while Obama would not take off the table the possible use of force against Iran, he believed it was necessary first to exhaust diplomacy.
He said the limited sanctions relief could be rescinded.
Kerry and the foreign ministers of the five other powers piled into the negotiations early on Saturday as the two sides appeared to be edging closer to a long-elusive agreement.
France's Fabius said: "After years of blockages, the agreement in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program is an important step to preserving security and peace."
(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Fredrik Dahl, John Irish, Arshad Mohammed, Louis Charbonneau in Geneva, Katya Golubkova in Moscow, Isabel Coles and Yara Bayoumy in Dubai and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Writing by Jon Hemming; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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