Reports Say Historic Nuclear Deal Reached With Iran
July 14, 2015
News agencies are quoting Western and Iranian diplomats as saying Tehran and six major powers have reached a historic nuclear deal in Vienna.
"All the hard work has paid off and we sealed a deal," an unidentified Iranian diplomat told Reuters news agency on July 14.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the European Union says foreign ministers from Iran and the so-called P5+1 group of nations -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States -- are to conclude their talks in Vienna with a meeting starting at 10.30 a.m. local time.
Nuclear negotiations between Iran and six major world powers continued into the wee hours of July 14, amid signs that a final deal would soon emerge.
Reuters reported that negotiators reached tentative agreement on critical issues that have held up the negotiations in the past.
A draft deal that could be changed in the final version, the news agency said, would give United Nations inspectors access to all Iranian sites suspected of housing nuclear weapons or research, including military sites, based on consultations between Tehran and world powers.
Steps to be taken by both sides under the deal, including limits on Iran's nuclear program and relief from U.S. and European sanctions on Iran, would be carried out in the first half of 2016, Reuters reported.
In an apparent breakthrough on another sticky issue, Iran and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency have agreed on a plan to address outstanding questions about the possible military dimensions of past Iranian nuclear activity by the end of this year, Reuters reported.
The plan includes one visit to the Parchin military site as well as possible interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists, the news agency said. Some sanctions relief would be conditioned on Tehran resolving this issue, it said.
On July 13, the White House said talks had made real progress but “significant issues” remained, adding that Iran faced some tough decisions.
Top diplomats from Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany had ratcheted up efforts in recent weeks to reach a final nuclear deal that brings sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Negotiators have been holding talks in the Austrian capital for more than two weeks to strike a deal under which Tehran would curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Western countries accuse Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons, a claim that Tehran denies.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met on July 13 with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini for high-level talks.
Iran's President Hassan Rohani is expected to address the nation on state television when the nuclear talks have concluded, IRNA reported, quoting an official at the presidential office.
With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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