President Obama said Thursday that the U.S., Iran and other world powers have agreed on a “historic” framework toward a final nuclear deal that will “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to a nuclear weapon,” with final terms to be resolved and signed by all parties by the end of June.
“I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies and our world safer,” Mr. Obama declared in remarks at the White House.
“It is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives,” said the president, who stressed that economic sanctions on Iran will only be lifted if Tehran proves that it is adhering to the agreement.
While Iran will still be allowed to enrich uranium under the deal, it has agreed to reduce its enrichment activities and open its nuclear facilities to close inspection from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog outfit, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Under the terms of the framework agreement circulated by The State Department on Thursdayafternoon, Tehran has agreed to reduce by approximately two-thirds its installed uranium enrichment centrifuges — going from roughly 19,000 installed today to 6,104 installed under the deal, with 5,060 being allowed to continue enriching over the coming 10 years.
Iran has has also agreed to cut its enrichment to a level of 3.67 percent for at least 15 years and committed to reducing its current stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium to 300 kg of 3.67 percent for 15 years, the State Department said.
At the same time, Tehran will allow IAEA inspectors “regular access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, including to Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz and its former enrichment facility at Fordow,” the department said.
Sanctions relief will occur only if Iran “verifiably abides by its commitments,” it said.
“U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps,” the department said. “If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.”