More of the details of the talks between Iran and major world powers on easing sanctions and returning Iran to the world stage have been released by authorities knowledgeable about the talks. The deal between Iran and the six major powers is intended to pave the way to a solution on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The Iranian Foreign Ministry and the European Union made the announcement in a joint statement and released the details of the deal to the public shortly thereafter. The first provisions of the deal went into effect on January 20. Now, Tehran and the world powers need to start negotiating a final settlement that will satisfy all parties.
Without the agreement, many believe that the conflict could have resulted in another, wider Middle East war over Iran’s nuclear aspirations. The standoff over Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons has been brewing for many years. Israel and the West have become increasingly alarmed at activities going on in Iran that they say are aimed at obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. Iran has repeatedly said that its atomic energy program is aimed purely at electricity generation and other civilian purposes. However, attempts in the past by Iran to hide sensitive nuclear activity from U.N. non-proliferation inspectors has raised concerns about their true motives.
Long-standing mutual mistrust and ingrained suspicions between the parties has complicated efforts to reach a final deal. According to Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, the current deal would allow Iran to stop complying with the agreement if it saw that its partners were not living up to the commitments that they pledged to adhere to. In an interview on state television, he said bluntly, “We don’t trust them.”
In Washington, President Barack Obama said that as long as the Islamic Republic lived up to its end of the agreement, the United States and other nations would begin to give Iran “modest relief” on economic sanctions. The American President also said that he would veto any new sanctions passed by the U.S. Congress during the long-term deal talks with Iran. However, he said that Washington would be prepared to increase sanctions on Iran if their government fails to adhere to the agreement.