Iran Nuclear Deal Framework Reached: ‘Major Issues’ Resolved, Drafting Of Agreement Begins Immediately

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the European Union’s Head of Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini and US Secretary of State John Kerry have officially announced that the framework of a nuclear deal has been reached with Iran.

The United States and European Union have agreed to remove all economic and financial sanctions on Iran as the terms of the nuclear agreement are met, according to Ms. Mogherini. However, President Obama has said that sanctions would still be lifted in stages as Iran proves they are meeting their obligations under the terms of the nuclear deal and reapplied or increased if Iran violates the final agreement.

The news of the framework for the final nuclear deal between Iran, United States and the other Western powers came via Twitter this morning with Zarif, Mogherini and Kerry all tweeting that major issues surrounding the nuclear program discussions had been resolved. The tweets also indicated that the drafting of the agreement would begin immediately.

The Daily Mail notes that Mogherini was quoted as saying, “The United States will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions.” However, a time-frame for the lifting of the sanctions was not given. For the United States to lift sanctions against Iran, Congress would be required to approve the measures. The White House has told Congress on numerous occasions that they would not request removal of the sanctions unless it was verified that Iran was following through with their portion of the agreement. Therefore, it seems that the sanctions will likely not be lifted immediately.

The White House has remained silent on the matter and has not made an official announcement regarding the Iran nuclear discussion resolutions. According to the Associated Press report published early this morning, a political framework had been agreed upon. However, negotiators were still in disagreement on how much of the nuclear deal should be released to the public. It was noted that Tehran officials wanted a bare minimum of the agreement released while the US wanted maximum disclose with as many details as possible released to the public.

As talks continued yesterday, the US Senate noted, “Tehran must agree to shut down every pathway they have to a nuclear weapon and comply with intrusive inspections that would ensure that they’re living up to the agreement.” Therefore, it seems likely that Iran conceded to many of the demands from the US and the Western powers for a framework to have been agreed upon by all parties.

Those close to the discussions claim that the drafting of the nuclear agreement will take place immediately with a deadline of June 30 for completion. Once the document is drafted, the next stage of the negotiations will begin in earnest. US sanctions on Iran for “terrorism, human rights abuses and ballistic missiles will remain in place,” even if a final nuclear deal is achieved.

[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Chip Somodevilla]