Negotiators Announce Plan For 10-Year Iranian Nuclear Restrictions

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Ivan Plis Reporter, Daily Caller News Foundation
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Speaking in Switzerland Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced a basis for finalizing the status of Iran’s nuclear program.

Formally, the agreement constitutes “an agreed basis for the final text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action.” In other words, the parties have begun drafting a deal whose final draft will be issued on or before June 30.

The statement comes after eight days of nearly nonstop negotiating between Iran and a six-country delegation led by the United States. Despite a formal deadline of March 31, all parties had agreed to continue into April in pursuit of an agreement. U.S. and Iranian officials actively negotiated through the night until 6 a.m. local time Thursday, pausing for several hours of sleep before continuing into a full day of meetings. (RELATED: American Officials Will Push Iran Talks Past Midnight Deadline)

The “final text’s” June 30 deadline corresponds to the expiration date for the temporary grounds on which Iran and the Western countries continue negotiating.

Among the details revealed by the announcement is a 10-year period of foreign supervision over Iran’s existing civilian nuclear program, and an immediate suspension of two-thirds of its current nuclear enrichment capacity. Iran’s government-run Tasnim news agency published a summary of the agreement before the announcement took place.

Iran has agreed to cut its nuclear centrifuges to 6,000 nationwide, down from its current  level of 19,000. Only one nuclear enrichment site will remain. Its other facilities will be converted into a “nuclear physics research facility” and an internationally redesigned hard water reactor that does not contain weapons-grade plutonium.

Once the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms Iranian compliance with the deal, the EU and US will lift all economic sanctions on Iran. In the interim, they are forbidden from imposing any new measures against the country.

But U.S. sanctions linked to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and other issues will remain in place.

Members of Congress who doubt Iranian credibility are likely to resist the terms of the deal. Many have insisted on the power to accept or reject any proposed agreement, and some have threatened to assert fresh sanctions in the absence of an acceptable final deal.

The press conference was preceded by tweets from Zarif and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, saying that they had reached “solutions” on the foundation of a permanent deal.

Mogherini also teased the waiting international public by tweeting about “good news”:

Thursday’s latest plan constitutes the third consecutive extension of talks among the parties.

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