A deal has been struck between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany. Here’s my starter for ten:
1. Supporters of Obama, will see the nuclear deal as his crowning foreign policy achievement of his presidency and the centrepiece of his foreign policy legacy.
2. Recent negotiations, spanning twenty months, aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting sanctions.
3. The rapprochement between the US and Iran may impact on power dynamics in the Middle East. There have already been signs of Saudi unease.
4. Iran’s uranium stockpile will be reduced by 98% to 300kg for 15 years
5. Iran has a number of facilities which will be converted to reduce research/development/proliferation activities.
6. Iran was building a heavy-water nuclear facility near Arak and this was an initial focus as spent fuel from a heavy-water reactor contains plutonium suitable for nuclear use. Iran’s nuclear facilities, including enrichment plants are now under going to be subject to extensive inspections.
7. Obama has outlined that the agreement would oblige Iran to:
– remove two-thirds of installed centrifuges and store them under international supervision
– get rid of 98% of its enriched uranium
– accept that sanctions would be rapidly restored if the deal was violated
– permanently give the International Atomic Energy Agency access ‘where necessary, when necessary’
8. The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, considered the deal to be a ‘historic mistake’. The White House called the agreement a ‘historic deal’.
9. Arms sanctions will not be lifted immediately, but will be phased out as compliance to the agreement is monitored.
10. The sanctions pushed Iran to the brink and the impact of sanctions on the most vulnerable people in society should not be forgotten.