Breaking, historic news tonight. From the New York Times:
The foreign policy chief of the European Union and Iranian officials announced a landmark accord Sunday morning that would temporarily freeze Tehran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping accord.
After marathon talks that finally ended early Sunday morning, the United States and five other world powers reached an agreement with Iran to halt much of Iran’s nuclear program. It was the first time in nearly a decade, American officials said, that steps had been taken to stop much of Iran’s nuclear effort and even roll some elements back.
The freeze would last six months, with the aim of giving international negotiators time to pursue the far more challenging task of drafting a comprehensive accord that would ratchet back much of Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it could be used only for peaceful purposes.
The Times story, by Michael Gordon, sketches out a more detailed outline of the deal. It was negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland by top diplomats from the United States, the European Union, and Iran. The head of the European Union, Catherine Ashton, has already confirmed on Twitter that a deal has been reached.
President Obama will address the nation shortly from the White House to discuss the historic agreement. The White House scheduled the address for 7:15 PM but it’s likely it won’t happen for at least several minutes after that, particularly since news networks don’t seem to be ready. (CNN broke into its programming first, MSNBC took several minutes to interrupt “Lockup” with live coverage).
The Associated Press has tweeted that one of its sources has said the deal does not recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium, but of course Iran may portray the agreement somewhat differently.
(Technically speaking, the United States doesn’t recognize that other nations have a “right” to enrich uranium. Most of the world’s nations do not have nuclear weapons programs, or even nuclear power plants).
We have reached an agreement.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) 6:03 PM Pacific – 23 Nov 2013
#EU High Rep #Ashton: “We have reached agreement between E3+3 and Iran.”
— Michael Mann (@EUHighRepSpox) 5:55 PM Pacific – 23 Nov 2013
Agreement in Geneva: first step makes world safer. More work now. -JK [John Kerry] #IranTalks
— Department of State (@StateDept) 5:55 PM – 23 Nov 2013