Iran has been offered some relief by the U.S. from crippling sanctions in a deal negotiated in Geneva, leaving U.S. Allies defiant to the agreement. The relief is in return for Iran’s agreement on halting the expansion of its nuclear program while talks on its status as a producer of nuclear energy continues.
The Obama administration claims the agreement is a temporary measure that can easily be retracted if Iran does not comply with the agreements, assuring world powers who see a nuclear Iran as a threat to the region’s stability. U.S. officials contend that the easing of sanctions on their part should have little impact on the current sanctions from other nations which have effectively disabled Iran’s economy.
The agreement stipulates that Iran will have to limit its level of enriched uranium, reduce its nuclear fuel capacity, and allow foreign inspectors into the country to validate Iran’s efforts to cooperate with the terms of the deal.
A U.S. official says that this “first step” by the U.S. and Iran will allow enough time to “negotiate a comprehensive final agreement that would address all of the international community’s concerns,”
Talks with Iran are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, and joining the negotiating table will be representatives from the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany and China. Iran still maintains their nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, such as powering the country and producing medical isotopes. The use of nuclear programs for such ends is allowed under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran is a signatory.
Still many countries in the international community, particularly Israel, Saudi Arabia, and France, maintain that Iran is simply buying time to build a nuclear weapon, which it will use as either political leverage against enemy states, or be transferred to the hands of Islamic extremists.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the interim deal should be rejected, and that the U.S. will only have itself to blame when talks eventually fail.
“Israel is completely opposed to these proposals,” said Netanyahu to reporters about the negotiations.
Meanwhile Secretary of State John Kerry has been making rounds throughout the Middle East, assuring world leaders that the U.S. still has their interests at heart. Although one such meeting between Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia was met with staunch opposition to any deal with Iran, Prince Faisal was quoted as saying that the longstanding alliance between the Gulf oil giant and the U.S. should not be compromised over appeasing Iran.
In Iran chants of “Death to America” rang through the country’s capital Tehran to mark the 34th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis.
Since the 1953 coup against then Iranian President Mohammed Mossadegh by the C.I.A. and the MI6, relations between Iran and the U.S. have been hostile. 1979 brought the Iranian revolution which installed the Islamic government that currently rules the country.
Campaigning on anti-Americanism, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected twice to lead Iran. Iran’s current President Hassan Rouhani is said to be more moderate than his predecessor Ahmadinejad, and has worked to mend ties between Israel and the U.S.