Six powers reach deal with Iran on lifting sanctions, production limits

Iran and the six world powers hoping to curb its nuclear program reached a major breakthrough on Monday after three months of intensive talks in Switzerland. The two sides reached agreement on a series…

Six powers reach deal with Iran on lifting sanctions, production limits

Iran and the six world powers hoping to curb its nuclear program reached a major breakthrough on Monday after three months of intensive talks in Switzerland. The two sides reached agreement on a series of sticking points that included Iran’s lifting of some trade sanctions in exchange for being able to continue operating its nuclear program and allow inspectors access to nuclear facilities.

The announcement was made in a statement by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as the sides wrapped up an afternoon meeting.

“We have reached a significant agreement that should put us on the path to a lasting solution and a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue,” Johnson said.

Iran and the six powers — the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany — will now sit down in a limited two-week period before the end of November to try to hammer out an agreement that will put to rest the nearly 40-year standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. As a precondition, Iran agreed to return some of the billions of dollars in revenue its economy will receive as a result of sanctions relief.

Despite several bargaining sessions on Monday that lasted late into the night, an agreement seemed unlikely until Sunday, when six-party negotiators expressed interest in reaching one that would “respect the rights of Iran.”

This isn’t the first time the two sides have considered a deal to end the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. But it is the first time the U.S. government led by President Donald Trump has been part of the process, leading to questions over whether the Trump administration had something to gain by showing up at the talks.

The question remains whether the Democrat-led Senate will support the deal, given the fierce opposition already raised to the idea.

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