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Live Blog: Iran Nuclear Deal

Follow all of the developments as they happen

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, shown here after news of the deal was revealed, said it is "not perfect for anybody but it is what we could accomplish." He called it an "important achivement for all of us."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, shown here after news of the deal was revealed, said it is "not perfect for anybody but it is what we could accomplish." He called it an "important achivement for all of us."


Final Summary

-- Iran and major global powers sealed a landmark deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, taking a giant step to end a confrontation that has poisoned ties, isolated the Islamic nation, and raised the specter of a new war in the Middle East.

-- U.S. President Barack Obama has called Benjamin Netanyahu to assuage Israeli concerns over the landmark deal.

-- Obama's administration still faces potential hurdles in the U.S. Congress, where lawmakers offered reactions to the deal ranging from wariness to outrage.

-- Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country has been Tehran's strongest supporter in the UN Security Council and vocally opposes U.S. and EU sanctions against Iran, said the deal would contribute to combatting terrorism in the Middle East.

-- From potentially stoking a Middle East arms race, to enabling political reforms in Iran, to undercutting Russia’s energy might by freeing up massive oil and gas supplies, here are some possible implications of the agreement.

-- Find a comprehensive timeline of the Iran nuclear talks here.

-- More about the origins of Iran's nuclear program here.

-- For reaction on the streets of Tehran, click here

-- For Israeli reactions to the deal, click here and here

NOTE: Times are stated according to local time in Tehran

01:19 15.7.2015

We are now closing the live blog on what has been a hectic and momentous day. Thanks for staying with us as events the unfolded.

01:19 15.7.2015

RFE/RL's Washington bureau has been looking at how Barack Obama still has his work cut out to get congressional backing for the deal:

WASHINGTON -- With a landmark deal to curb Iran's nuclear program reached between Tehran and world powers, U.S. President Barack Obama's administration now faces potential hurdles in the U.S. Congress, where lawmakers offered reactions to the deal ranging from wariness to outrage.

Congress will now have 60 days to review the agreement, which would provide sanctions relief to Iran and was hammered out over more than a decade of negotiations and a grueling, 18-day final push in Vienna.

Obama says the deal will "prevent" Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, though critics in Congress warn that it will only slow Iran’s nuclear development and embolden the Islamic republic to support terrorism and further destabilize the Middle East.

While Obama is expected to retain enough congressional support to move forward with implementing the agreement, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers voiced concerns that Iran would still be capable of acquiring a nuclear-weapon capability under the terms of the deal.

A key sticking point for some U.S. lawmakers is a provision in the deal under which Tehran would mothball most of its centrifuges used to enrich uranium, which can be used for nuclear energy or weapons, for the next 10 years.

After that period, critics say, Iran will be allowed to ratchet up its nuclear activity, thus potentially leading to a nuclear arms race in a region that is already a tinderbox.

"This agreement allows Iran to retain a vast enrichment capacity, to continue its research and development, and gain an industrialized nuclear program once key provisions of this agreement begin to expire in as little as 10 years," U.S. Representative Ed Royce (Republican-California) told a July 14 hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which he chairs.

"The key restriction, the ability to enrich [uranium] at high levels, begins to expire in as little as 10 years," Royce added. "That's 10 years. Most Americans will take three times longer to pay off their mortgage."

Representative Ted Yoho (Republican-Florida) said of the deal: "It's like giving an alligator more teeth and thinking now they may be nice to you."

Read the entire article here

23:58 14.7.2015

Obama has been quick to try and soothe Israeli concerns over the deal (from our news desk):

U.S. President Barack Obama reassured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security in a phone conversation on July 14, after Iran and major global powers sealed a landmark deal.

The White House said that Obama told Netanyahu that the Iran deal “will not diminish our concerns regarding Iran’s support for terrorism and threats toward Israel.”

Obama also told Netanyahu that the nuclear deal was in Israel's "national security interest."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is due to visit Israel next week. Obama said the visit is a reflection of the high level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel.

Earlier in the day Netanyahu called the deal "a bad mistake of historic proportions," adding that “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons.”

(Reuters, AP)

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23:10 14.7.2015

Here are some tweets showing the reaction in Iran, which has been mostly positive, even jubilant in places:

RFE/RL's Frud Bezhan has a more detailed look at the Iranian reaction to the nuclear deal here.

22:47 14.7.2015

Not surprisingly, Benjamin Netanyahu and many other Israeli politicians have been slamming the Iran deal. Joanna Paraszczuk has been gauging their reaction for RFE/RL:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and politicians from the ruling coalition and the opposition rushed to slam the Iranian nuclear deal as it was announced on July 14.

For his part, in a series of tweets, Netanyahu said the deal would give Iran "hundreds of billions of dollars to fuel its terror machine."

"When you are ready to make an agreement at any price -- this is the result. From the first reports we can already determine that this agreement is a historic mistake," Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew.

The Israeli prime minister revisited his earlier criticisms that the P5+1 wanted to sign a deal with Iran "at any price."

"We knew that the desire to sign the agreement was stronger than anything and therefore we did not commit ourselves to prevent it, but we have committed ourselves to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and this commitment remains," Netanyahu vowed.

You can find out more about Israeli politicians' reactions here.

Meanwhile, Paraszczuk has also been monitoring the reaction of ordinary Israelis, not all of whom are vehemently opposed to the deal:

As Israeli politicians rushed on July 14 to blast the international powers' nuclear deal with Iran -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "historic mistake" -- some Israelis took to social media to express more nuanced views, as well as fatigue over constant media reporting on Iran.

"I'm tired of commentators saying 'we've lost, you will have to get used to a nuclear threshold state,'" tweeted one Israeli, @Amitna87. "Iran is already a nuclear threshold state. The choice is between no supervision and the possibility of supervision."

@Amitna87 was criticizing comments by Alon Ben David, the senior defense correspondent for Israel's Channel 10, who wrote an op-ed in the centrist daily Maariv.

Ben David warned that the deal would make Iran more "confident" and "allow itself to become more and more involved in conflicts in the region."

"It could be that [U.S.] President [Barack] Obama, who wants to bring about world peace, has brought with this agreement the opening salvo in a Middle Eastern nuclear arms race," Ben David concluded.

Some Israelis tried to look on the bright side of the deal, joking that with the deal struck, Netanyahu would now have time to deal with domestic issues instead of being preoccupied with Iran.

"The advantage of a nuclear deal with Iran?" Nir Goshen, an Israeli Twitter user, tweeted on July 14. "Netanyahu will finally have to deal with internal matters: the cost of living, the housing crisis, the report on poverty, and so on."

Others expressed boredom with the wall-to-wall coverage of the deal in the Israeli press.

"Is it just me who's tired of hearing about Iran?" tweeted @yitzy4.

Read the entire article here

22:33 14.7.2015

22:31 14.7.2015

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