Statements made after deal with Iran on nuclear programme
Below are the four official statements or comments as published by four key players in the ‘deal’ that has been struck today in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations which includes the United States of America, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, China, France and Germany.
The BBC has published to following key points in the deal as follows:
• Iran will stop enriching uranium beyond 5%, and “neutralise” its stockpile of uranium enriched beyond this point
• Iran will give greater access to inspectors including daily access at Natanz and Fordo nuclear sites
• There will be no further development of the Arak plant which it is believed could produce plutonium
• In return, there will be no new nuclear-related sanctions for six months if Iran sticks by the accord
• Iran will also receive sanctions relief worth about $7bn (£4.3bn) on sectors including precious metals.
The four statements in order are by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, American President Barack Obama and British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
The press release as published by the Presidency of The Islamic Republic of Iran News Service is as follows:
“President in a letter to Leader on nuclear deal:
The big world powers admit to the nation’s nuclear rights as well as its right for enrichment
Sunday 24 November 2013 – 10:55
In a letter addressed to the ayatollah, President Rouhani said the revolutionary offspring of Iran have managed to take the first step in a way that made the big world powers admit to the nation’s nuclear rights as well as its right for enrichment.
The President added that the nuclear deal would also pave the way for future big steps towards guaranteeing Iran’s technological and economic advances.
He also thanked the Almighty that enabled the revolutionary offspring of Iran to prove the righteousness of Iran’s nuclear program in the international arena in the process of harsh and complicated negotiations.
ˈThe success made in the nuclear talks highlighted the fact that it is possible to offer views of the Iranian nation to the world public opinion in a logical and reasonable manner and with respect to the country’s red lines, in a way which will make the big powers to respect the rights of the nation,ˈ added the President in his letter.
He believed that the success was the outcome of the wise guidelines of the Supreme Leader and the ceaseless support of the nation.
President Rouhani noted that the nuclear deal was the beginning of removal of the tyrannical sanctions against Iran.
The Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as published on the Prime Minister’s website is as follows:
“Excerpts from PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting 24/11/2013 יום
Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly
“What was achieved last night in Geneva is not an historic agreement; it is an historic mistake. Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world. For the first time, the world’s leading powers have agreed to uranium enrichment in Iran while ignoring the UN Security Council decisions that they themselves led. Sanctions that required many years to put in place contain the best chance for a peaceful solution. These sanctions have been given up in exchange for cosmetic Iranian concessions that can be cancelled in weeks. This agreement and what it means endanger many countries including, of course, Israel. Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. As Prime Minister of Israel, I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.”
The statement by President Barack Obama as published on the White House website is as follows:
“Statement By The President On First Step Agreement On Iran’s Nuclear Program
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, the United States — together with our close allies and partners — took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.
Since I took office, I’ve made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As I’ve said many times, my strong preference is to resolve this issue peacefully, and we’ve extended the hand of diplomacy. Yet for many years, Iran has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community. So my administration worked with Congress, the United Nations Security Council and countries around the world to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government.
These sanctions have had a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, and with the election of a new Iranian President earlier this year, an opening for diplomacy emerged. I spoke personally with President Rouhani of Iran earlier this fall. Secretary Kerry has met multiple times with Iran’s Foreign Minister. And we have pursued intensive diplomacy — bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5-plus-1 partners — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.
Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.
While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited. Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor. And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments.
These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb. Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program. And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program.
On our side, the United States and our friends and allies have agreed to provide Iran with modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions. We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions. But the broader architecture of sanctions will remain in place and we will continue to enforce them vigorously. And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure.
Over the next six months, we will work to negotiate a comprehensive solution. We approach these negotiations with a basic understanding: Iran, like any nation, should be able to access peaceful nuclear energy. But because of its record of violating its obligations, Iran must accept strict limitations on its nuclear program that make it impossible to develop a nuclear weapon.
In these negotiations, nothing will be agreed to unless everything is agreed to. The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes.
If Iran seizes this opportunity, the Iranian people will benefit from rejoining the international community, and we can begin to chip away at the mistrust between our two nations. This would provide Iran with a dignified path to forge a new beginning with the wider world based on mutual respect. If, on the other hand, Iran refuses, it will face growing pressure and isolation.
Over the last few years, Congress has been a key partner in imposing sanctions on the Iranian government, and that bipartisan effort made possible the progress that was achieved today. Going forward, we will continue to work closely with Congress. However, now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions -– because doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies and risk unravelling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place.
That international unity is on display today. The world is united in support of our determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran must know that security and prosperity will never come through the pursuit of nuclear weapons — it must be reached through fully verifiable agreements that make Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons impossible.
As we go forward, the resolve of the United States will remain firm, as will our commitments to our friends and allies –- particularly Israel and our Gulf partners, who have good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions.
Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict. Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it.
The first step that we’ve taken today marks the most significant and tangible progress that we’ve made with Iran since I took office. And now we must use the months ahead to pursue a lasting and comprehensive settlement that would resolve an issue that has threatened our security — and the security of our allies — for decades. It won’t be easy, and huge challenges remain ahead. But through strong and principled diplomacy, the United States of America will do our part on behalf of a world of greater peace, security, and cooperation among nations.
Thank you very much.”
The statement by British Foreign Secretary William Hague as published on the United Kingdom Government website is as follows:
“Foreign Secretary welcomes deal as an important moment in international relations with Iran and in efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation
Speaking to Sky News earlier this morning from Geneva, the Foreign Secretary said:
“I think this is an important moment; an encouraging moment, in our relations with Iran, and in our efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation in the world. This is the first time there has been an international agreement with Iran about its nuclear programme. It will mean that, as a first step agreement, that Iran’s programme won’t be able to go forward over the next six months – over the six months of this agreement – and in some respects will be rolled back. And that, we hope, will give us the opportunity to negotiate a comprehensive and final settlement of these issues. So it is certainly an important moment, and it’s been well worth bringing this about.”
The Foreign Secretary also spoke about the implications of today’s agreement, including on sanctions:
“There will be some relief from sanctions for Iran; proportionate and limited relief from sanctions. But that will involve the unfreezing of some assets – in particular by the United States; the lifting of the suspension of some sanctions on items like petrochemicals and on gold and precious metals. So this is some relief from sanctions. But the great bulk of sanctions will remain in place until there is a comprehensive and final agreement that gives the world the necessary assurances that, for the future, Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes.
“What happens in this six months is that Iran has announced it will take certain actions; it will stop enriching uranium above a level of 5%; it will eliminate the stockpile that it has built up of Uranium enriched to that level; it will stop work on the heavy-water reactor at Arak. So these key elements of Iran’s nuclear programme, won’t move forward over this period, and in some respects, as I say, will be rolled back – the elimination of the stockpile of 20% enriched uranium is the best example of that. So that happens in this six month period. That sanctions relief is available to them at the same time, and during that period we will set about the negotiation on a very comprehensive settlement of these issues.
“Well, there’s the challenge now of making sure this agreement is fully implemented. The United Kingdom and our partners will implement this in good faith; we look to Iran to implement it in good faith. And then there is the whole issue of a comprehensive and final settlement, one in which, as I say, the world can be sure that the development of a nuclear programme in Iran is for peaceful nuclear energy in the future, and in which all sanctions are lifted.”
On the possibility of a more comprehensive agreement in future, the Foreign Secretary said:
“Now, clearly that is going to involve agreement on an even bigger scale; even more work than this. This is a very important change that it is possible to agree with Iran about these matters, that the political will from all sides has been there, and that is something that many people would have doubted only a few months ago.”