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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Deal reached with Iran to limit its nuclear program; President Obama to speak shortly

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).

His­toric tweets:

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

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