Preliminary nuclear deal with Iran announced Sunday, Tehran to receive $4.2 billion in sanctions relief
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, pictured here with US Secretary of State John Kerry, announced on Twitter early Sunday that a preliminary deal between Tehran and the world powers had been reached (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)
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Reuters reported early Sunday that Iran and six world powers reached a preliminary deal on Tehran's nuclear program and sanctions relief.
According to the report, United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia will provide limited sanctions relief to Iran amounting up to $4.2 billion in exchange for Tehran's commitment to curb its nuclear program development.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Twitter, "We have reached an agreement," and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also confirmed the deal early Sunday.
The deal comes after four days of negotiations in Geneva. No further details of the agreement have yet been released.
The meetings in Geneva had been planned earlier this year with the goal of finding a solution to solve decades-old tension between world powers and Iran on the latter's nuclear energy program.
Tehran's program has been a constant source of international scrutiny, particularly from Israel and the US, due to speculations that Iran is using the program as a cover to develop uranium for bombs rather than energy. In response to the agreement Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that Iran was given an "unbelievable Christmas present - the capacity to maintain this (nuclear) breakout capability for practically no concessions at all".
The US, however, expressed a more positive response to the deal, with President Barack Obama said on Saturday that a deal between Iran and six major powers was "an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program," according to UPI. "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," he further elaborated.
However, the US president also told reporters that the next six months would be used as a sort-of trial period to finalize the deal, adding that the US's allies-namely the Gulf countries and Israel, "have good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions," he said.
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