Iran reached an historic nuclear accord on Sunday with the United States and five other counties after three decades of political gridlock and tension between Washington and Tehran.
Following news of the six month nuclear deal with Iran, some U.S. allies including Israel and Saudi Arabia remained skeptical.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal an “historic
mistake” while Saudi Arabia claimed they were kept in the dark by their Western allies over Iran’s nuclear deal, warning it could strike out on its own against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria, according to Saudi royal family senior advisor Nawaf Obaid reported in the Telegraph.com.
Under the terms of the nuclear accord, Iran will be allowed to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
However, Iran has to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent and has to dilute or convert into oxide its 20 percent stockpile.
No new locations will be allowed for the enrichment and the agreement allows for enhanced monitoring.
In return, the United States has agreed to provide $6 billion to $7 billion in sanctions relief, including $4.2 billion in oil revenue that has been frozen in foreign banks.
The accord also suspends U.S. and EU sanctions on the following areas:
. Iranˈs petrochemical exports, as well as sanctions on associated services.
. Gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions on associated services.
. Suspend U.S. sanctions on Iranˈs auto industry, as well as sanctions on associated services.
. License the supply and installation in Iran of spare parts for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services. License safety related inspections and repairs in Iran as well as associated services.
. No new EU nuclear-related sanctions.
. The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.
. Establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iranˈs domestic needs using Iranian oil revenues held abroad. Humanitarian trade would be defined as transactions involving food and agricultural products, medicine, medical devices, and medical expenses incurred abroad. This channel would involve specified foreign banks and non-designated Iranian banks to be defined when establishing the channel.
White House Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken commented today on Bloomberg Surveillance about the 6 month nuclear accord.
“For the first time in a decade the agreement that we reached halts Iran’s nuclear program, it rolls it back in certain key respects, and it gives international inspectors the kind of access they have never had before. So in of itself it’s a very good thing and it gives us time to see over the next 6 months whether we can reach a comprehensive solution and it does it in a way that doesn’t allow Iran to talk to us and advance its program at the same time.”
Blinken added, “I think one of the big benefits of this deal is that all of the pathways that Iran has to a bomb will be halted for 6 months, the inspectors have access that they haven’t had before, and we have time to see if we can get to a comprehensive solution.”
Iran will retain the technology and material to produce fuel for a weapon for the time being.
On Sunday Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) expressed some caution about the terms of the accord and posted on his website: “this agreement is silent on the question of Iran’s nuclear weaponization efforts and development of delivery systems, such as ballistic missiles, that are key components of its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Problems and omissions such as these are compounded by an easing of sanctions that could make it harder to sustain the international will and cooperation to continue enforcing existing sanctions.”
McCain concluded, “I am concerned this agreement could be a dangerous step that degrades our pressure on the Iranian regime without demonstrable actions on Iran’s part to end its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability – a situation that would be reminiscent of our experience over two decades with North Korea. For this reason, I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to keep the pressure on the Iranian regime, including by action on additional sanctions.”