A deal on limiting Iran's nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions has been reached at talks in Vienna, diplomats say. Under the agreement, access for nuclear inspectors monitoring Iran's programme would reportedly not be automatic.
Six world powers including the US, Russia and the UK have been negotiating with Iran for several years. The so-called P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany - want Iran to scale back its sensitive nuclear activities to ensure that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.
Iran, which wants crippling international sanctions lifted, has always insisted that its nuclear work is peaceful. A diplomat quoted by the Associated Press said the deal included a compromise over the inspection of sites within Iran. It would allow UN inspectors to monitor military sites, but Iran could challenge requests for access, the diplomat said.
Iran has accepted that sanctions could be restored in 65 days if it violates the deal, Reuters cited diplomats as saying. It reported that a UN arms embargo would stay in place for five years, and that UN missile sanctions would remain for eight years.
"All the hard work has paid off and we sealed a deal. God bless our people," it quoted one of the Iranian diplomats as saying.
Not everyone is happy about a possible end to more than a decade of on/off negotiations. Miri Regev, Israel's culture and sports minister, said it is "bad for the free world (and) bad for humanity" and gives the Islamic Republic a "license to kill."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the nuclear deal struck with Iran, saying, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons. Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted. Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world. This is a bad mistake of historic proportions.”
Source: BBC & Independent