The P5+1 world powers, which include the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany, reached an agreement (PDF) with Iran on Nov. 24 committing Iran to limiting its developing nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions. The agreement outlines a six-month program, although the US holds that this agreement is only an initial step, and the full force of its sanctions against Iran will not be lifted until [it has been determined that] Iran has come into full compliance with its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In a speech regarding the agreement, US President Barack Obama made the following remarks regarding the agreement:
Today, [diplomacy with Iran has] 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 … 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.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the agreement a "historic mistake" and instead calls for a rigorous program of sanctions against Iran.
Over the past several years Iran has been subject to numerous sanctions for its contentious nuclear program. Iranian leaders have repeatedly claimed that the developing nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the international community, Israel in particular, worries that Iran's enrichment program was designed for military purposes. In February 2012 the US imposed further sanctions on Iran, citing the misleading practices of Iranian banks. Many, however, viewed this action as an attempt to convince Iran to disassemble its nuclear program by further burdening its already struggling economy.
From Jurist, Nov. 24. Used with permission.
See our last post on Iran's nuclear program.