Last night, a historic agreement with Iran was struck to curb the country's suspicious nuclear program. Israel, the country that believes it will be the target of an eventual Iranian nuclear attack, wasn't pleased.
The deal, struck last Saturday evening after marathon talks at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, was the first agreement in nearly a decade to circumvent Iran's suspicious nuclear program. The P5+1 countries — United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia — believe Iran has a clandestine program building a nuclear weapon. Iran maintains its nuclear advancements are merely to provide an alternative energy source to its successful oil industry. And yet, Iranian clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei still approved last night's result.
Not everyone was celebrating the diplomatic acrobatics required to pull something like this deal off. Even Slate conceded this deal was, "a good one." But no, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hated it. What a shocker, right? "This is not a historic agreement, it's a historic mistake," he said shortly after the deal was announced. Every one else was all hugs. Per Reuters:
[European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton] and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hugged each other. Kerry and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov shook hands. Minutes later, as Iran's delegation posed for photos, Zarif and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius embraced. France had taken the hardest line on Iran in recent talks.
- Iran continues to enrich uranium to five percent, a level at which nuclear power can function but far enough away from weapons grade capability.
- All existing uranium enriched to 20 percent will be converted into oxide.
- No new centrifuges will be installed and progress on the Arak heavy-water facility, which could produce plutonium when finished, another ingredient in an atomic bomb, will be halted.