WATCH: The U.S., its European allies and Iran have reached a framework to limit Iran’s nuclear program. A new June 30th deadline has been set to work out the final details. Eric Sorensen reports.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The United States, Iran and five other world powers on Thursday announced an understanding outlining limits on Iran’s nuclear program so it cannot lead to atomic weapons, directing negotiators toward achieving a comprehensive agreement within three months.
Reading out a joint statement, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said a “decisive step” after more than a decade of negotiations had been achieved. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif followed with the same statement in Farsi. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the top diplomats of Britain, France and Germany also briefly took the stage behind them.
WATCH: European Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini listed Thursday the details of a ‘peaceful’ agreement that has been reached between concerned nations and Iran over its nuclear program.
In a tweet, Kerry said:
Mogherini said the seven nations would now start writing the text of a final accord. She cited several agreed-upon restrictions on Iran’s enrichment of material that can be used either for energy production or in nuclear warheads. She said Iran won’t produce weapons-grade plutonium.
Crucially for the Iranians, economic sanctions related to its nuclear programs are to be rolled back after the U.N. nuclear agency confirms compliance.
Obama says understanding “historic”
U.S. President Barack Obama heralded a framework nuclear understanding with Iran as an “historic” agreement that could pave the way for a final deal that would leave the U.S., its allies and the world safer.
Speaking from the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon, Obama said the agreement “is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.” He said verification mechanisms built into the framework agreed to in Switzerland hours earlier would ensure that “if Iran cheats, the world with know it.”
Obama has invested significant political capital in the nuclear negotiations. The talks have strained the U.S. relationship with Israel, which sees Tehran as an existential threat, and deepened tensions with Congress.
One of Obama’s toughest challenges will be convincing lawmakers to hold off on legislation that would authorize new sanctions on Iran. He said his administration would fully brief Congress on the diplomatic efforts, which he called “our best option by far.”