By Jasmine Hernandez
Current Affairs Editor
Talk of nuclear weapons has always made people nervous, so it’s no surprise that meetings leading up to this US-Iran nuke deal was kept a secret from the public until recently. After many failed attempts to come to an international agreement with the Iranians, the US has finalized a pact that will satisfy all parties involved.
Day 1 of the secret meetings between the Obama administration and Iranian officials took place at a secure location in the Omani capital of Muscat and was followed In March of this year. Five more meetings were held after that and Obama finally shared the existence of the secret diplomacy with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September. He made sure to still keep information on the subject minimal. Then, the Obama Administration informed Britain, China, France,Germany and Russia, the five nations chosen to negotiate alongside the U.S. On Sunday, November 4th around dawn, an agreement was made on a pact outline and was signed by the five nations and Iran.
While the agreement was made on an early Sunday, late Saturday in Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry took the opportunity to sign the deal also. Obama then presented it to the nation in a televised White House address, publicly ending all secrecy about the deal.
The deal, named the Geneva Deal because of its signing ceremony in Geneva’s Palace of Nations, is said to provide Iran with $7 billion in relief from international sanctions in exchange for Iranian curbs on uranium enrichment and other nuclear activity. Enriched uranium is a type of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 (U-235) has been increased through the process of isotope separation in order to cause a nuclear reaction.
The six month deal is a first step in an attempt to develop a more inclusive pact. For now, the pact will freeze and may reverse activity in Iran’s nuclear facilities. In addition western officials say Iran has agreed to additional oversight through international monitoring by nuclear inspectors. Violating the pact will call for a reinstatement of the sanctions that have been relieved in the agreements terms.
President Obama is the first to express the success of this deal and in his White House address he had this to say about the subject.“Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon,” he said. “While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”