After decades of deadlock, it took a new Iranian President to break through icy relations between Western nations and Iran. A high-level meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, over the weekend, resulted in an historic agreement for Iran to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.
The so-called P5+1 countries of US, Russia, UK, France, China, Germany and the EU enabled Iran access to billions of dollars of frozen assets and an ability to sell oil reserves.
Both Presidents of Iran and the US sold the deal to their constituencies as beneficial to their side. President Hassan Rouhani claimed that the world has now recognized Iran’s “nuclear rights,” while President Obama announced “we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program.”
The deal is only valid for six months and will have to be re-negotiated. Meanwhile, the US’s major ally in the Middle East, Israel, had lobbied hard against any deal with Iran and has expressed its disfavor.
GUEST: Muhammad Sahimi, Professor at the University of Southern California, and editor of the website Iran News & Middle East Reports. He recently wrote the piece: “Iran Has a Right to Enrich — And America Already Recognized It.”
Click here for Muhammad Sahimi’s latest article on Iran.