Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Executive Federica Mogherini announced Thursday, April 2 that “a general agreement for a peaceful nuclear program and a lifting of sanctions against Iran” had been reached in Lausanne. “We have reached solutions on key parameters of a joint comprehensive plan of action,” the details to be negotiated between now and June 30,” she said.
Speaking after the EU official, Zarif delivered a long statement ending with the declaration: “There is no agreement; and so no commitments” before June 30.
But President Barack Obama, commenting on the event at the White House, hailed the agreement as a historic event that will change the face of the world and make it a safer place. "It is a deal that meets our core objectives.” There is no way Iran can get round it to build a bomb, or produce plutonium at its Arak plant. Obama stressed that the verification mechanisms built into the agreed framework would ensure that "if Iran cheats, the world with know it."
This is a long-term agreement which promises that Iran’s nuclear program will be closely monitoried for the next 20 years. There is much work to be done to hammer out the details before June 30, Obama said, and voiced the hope that the Iranians would not back out of the principles they had accepted in Lausanne.
In his view, there were just three options for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program: Military force that would hold the program back for no more than two years; more sanctions, when the first round had proved to have little impact; or diplomacy, which he had chosen.
Obama said he hoped the US Congress would not heap obstacles in the path of an accord, because the majority of the American popular approved of the course he led.
Before the end of the day, the president said he would talk to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman, the two leading opponents of the nuclear deal.
The parameters outlined by Mogherini agreed for future negotiation:
• Iran's enrichment capacity and stockpile would be limited, and Iran's sole enrichment facility would be at the Natanz nuclear facility. Other nuclear facilities would be converted to other uses.
• The nuclear facility at Fordo would be converted to a nuclear physics and technology center and the facility at Arak would be redesigned as a heavy-water research reactor that will not produce weapons-grade plutonium.
• The European Union would terminate all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Iran, and the United States would do the same once Iran's implementation of the agreement is confirmed.
• The United Nations would terminate all previous resolutions sanctioning Iran, and would incorporate other restrictions for an agreed-upon period.