An Iranian diplomat confirmed Tuesday morning that a landmark Iran nuclear agreement was reached after clearing final obstacles, and sources said it would be announced officially sometime in the late morning.
“All the hard work has paid off and we sealed a deal. God bless our people,” the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Another Iranian official confirmed the agreement.
A Western diplomat confirmed that an agreement had been reached just before the formal announcement was expected.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials reacted negatively with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leading the pack. “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons,” said Netanyahu. “Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted.
“Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world. This is a bad mistake of historic proportions.”
Israel Beytenu Chairman and former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman also reacted to the confirmation of a deal, calling it a danger for the future. “History will remember the Iran dael just like the Munich Agreement and the agreement with North Korea,” said Lieberman.
The Iranian state news agency has reported that under the current deal, all Iranian nuclear facilities will remain up and running and research on key centrifuges will continue.
The news agency continued to say that bans on Iran purchasing certain dual- use machinery and technology will also end. EU and US economic sanctions are also set to be lifted with the implementation of the agreement according to report.
According to diplomatic sources, the deal includes a compromise between Washington and Tehran that would allow UN inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties.
But access at will to any site would not necessarily be granted and even if so, could be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving Tehran time to cover any sign of non-compliance with its commitments.
Under the deal, the source said Tehran would have the right to challenge the UN request and an arbitration board composed of Iran and the six world powers that negotiated with it would have to decide on the issue.
Still, such an arrangement would be a notable departure from assertions by top Iranian officials that their country would never allow the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency into such sites. Iran has argued that such visits by the IAEA would be a cover for spying on its military secrets.
Iranian opposition to the arms embargo also eased during negotiations, and the embargo is set to continue for five years. The deal also stipulates that sanctions would be reimposed on Iran within 65 days in case it broke the deal.
In addition to the five year UN weapons embargo, missile sanctions will stay in place for eight years.
As a midnight Monday target for a deal approached in Vienna, diplomats said the nuts and bolts of the written nuclear accord had been settled days ago.