All times given are in Eastern.
1:48 p.m. – ValueWalk is ending live coverage of the Iran nuclear deal announcement.
1:45 p.m. – Iran’s nuclear research will be monitored and follow an agreed-upon timeline. An international joint venture will assist Iran with researching underwater nuclear reactor. European Union will end all sanctions and U.S. will stop application of nuclear, economic sanctions while the implementation of Iran agreement.
Now working on joint plan of action to be completed by June 30.
1:40 p.m. – Iran will also be ordered to slash the number of centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,000. Tehran’s uranium enrichment will be limited and monitored for ten years.
Joint statement just starting.
1:35 p.m. – Abbas Aslani of Tasnim News reports via Twitter that more than 1,000 centrifuges will still be running in the facility at Fordo and that over 5,000 centrifuges will keep enriching 3.67% in Natanz. As expected the length of the agreement about Iran’s uranium enrichment program will be ten years.
1:30 p.m. – It’s expected that U.S. President Barack Obama will make a statement on the Iran nuclear deal shortly. He had been scheduled to leave the White House and travel to Kentucky but has instead remained at the White House. There is not yet any official word on whether he will make a statement, but The Guardian suggests that it seems likely. European Union officials are calling the deal “good news.”
Although two-thirds of Iran’s enriched uranium is to be shipped out of the country or diluted, Tehran won’t be asked to close down any of its enrichment sites, reports Sputnik News.
1:25 p.m. – Reuters reports that one of the terms of the agreement is that most of Iran’s enriched uranium will be either shipped out of the country or diluted. According to CBS News, the deal also includes a number of other “technical elements.”
The joint statement is expected to include some of those elements so that Congress will have evidence that the U.S. can, in theory, guarantee a time period of one year before Iran would have the ability to build a nuclear bomb. Washington sought a one-year time frame.
1:20 p.m. – The reason for the delay in releasing the joint statement on the Iran nuclear deal appears to be because there is disagreement about how much of the deal to make public, reports CBS News. The news outlet’s source stated that the agreement covers only approximately 20% of the issue and pushes decision making on most of the bigger issues about implementing the deal back to the end of June when the final draft is due.
1:17 p.m. – The P5+1 and Iran are preparing a joint statement on the nuclear accord. It was scheduled to be announced at 1 p.m. Eastern, but officials are a bit behind schedule. We’re awaiting the official word.
Clock was ticking on Iran nuclear deal
The world’s powers set a soft deadline of Tuesday to hammer out a preliminary deal and a basic framework for the deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The hard deadline is June 30 when they want to have a final deal, including all the specifics, set in stone, reports CNN. That final deal would be based on the initial framework officials put together this week.
Officials from the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, China, and Russia, also known as the P5+1, have been at an impasse for almost a week. Their goal was to keep Iran from being able to develop a nuclear bomb, reports Reuters. In exchange, the countries would agree to ease the sanctions they placed on Iran, which have had a devastating effect on the nation’s economy.
Pace of sanctions release debated
The biggest issue the countries were having in discussing the Iran nuclear deal was how quickly they would lift the sanctions against Iran. Also the countries are at odds over how long Iran will be unable to make enough fuel to build a nuclear weapon.
Iranian officials said they’re running their nuclear program for peaceful purposes, reports the BBC. However, the other countries involved in the negotiations want to keep Iran at least a year away from being able to make enough fuel for one nuclear weapon.
Details on the Iran nuclear debate
According to the BBC, the other nations involved in the talks wanted to restrict Iran’s nuclear program for at least a decade. After those ten years, Iran wanted to see all the limits on its program lifted.
Iran wanted the UN sanctions to come to an end quickly after the agreement was made. However, the P5+1 wanted to phase out the sanctions gradually. They also wanted to restrict nuclear-related tech imports for years.
Additionally, the West wanted a penalty for non-compliance that would go into effect if Iran breaks the nuclear deal. The penalty would involve the UN sanctions being put back quickly. Russia agreed to it but wanted to protect its veto rights through the Security Council.
Iranian officials also wanted to be allowed to develop advanced centrifuges. The centrifuges would enable them to speed up uranium enrichment and produce uranium faster. Enriched uranium is used for both nuclear reactor fuel and as a component of nuclear bombs.
Iran also refused to ship its current nuclear fuel stockpile out of the country, which the P5+1 has been demanding.