GENEVA: International Accord Reached With Iran To Halt Nuclear Program

Big news out of Switzerland tonight. The United States, France, Germany, China, Russia, Great Britain, and the European Union have brokered a deal with Iran on its nuclear program. Via New York Times:

The United States and five other world powers announced a landmark accord Sunday morning that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement. It was the first time in nearly a decade of talks, American officials said, that an international agreement had been reached to halt much of Iran’s nuclear program and roll some elements of it back.

According to the agreement, Iran would agree to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent. To make good on that pledge, Iran would dismantle links between networks of centrifuges. All of Iran’s stockpile of uranium that has been enriched to 20 percent, a short hop to weapons-grade fuel, would be diluted or converted into oxide so that it could not be readily used for military purposes. No new centrifuges, neither old models nor newer more efficient ones, could be installed.

Centrifuges that have been installed but which are not currently operating could not be started up. The agreement, however, would not require Iran to stop enriching uranium to a level of 3.5 percent or dismantle any of its existing centrifuges. The accord was a disappointment for Israel, which urged the United States to pursue a stronger agreement that would lead to a complete end to Iran’s enrichment program. But Iran made it clear that continuing enrichment was a prerequisite for any agreement.

The president spoke about the deal late last night.