Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East.
Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.
Reaching a deal is a major policy victory for both US President Barack Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist elected two years ago on a vow to reduce Iran’s diplomatic isolation.
Iran would get access to more than $100 billion in frozen assets when the agreement is implemented, which depends on when Tehran has curbed its nuclear program and the UN nuclear watchdog has certified this, US officials said.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the formal announcement of the deal, said that UN Security Council sanctions could be reimposed on Iran within 65 days in the event of Iranian noncompliance with the deal.
The accord includes a provision under which Iran can be required to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with access to suspected nuclear sites, including military sites, or with other means to address their concerns, within 24 days if a majority of a panel overseeing the deal insists.
The eight-member commission includes Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States, Iran and the European Union, the officials said. As a result the United States, the three European nations and the EU can oblige Iran to provide such access and Tehran, Beijing and Moscow could not veto this.
“Iran will not be open to business until the ratification process is completed. Moreover, doing business with Iran will entail several key risks. Iran’s legal system is outdated and complicated. Iran has not had significant experience with international investors for years and the bureaucracy is likely to lack sufficient numbers of skilled personnel to be able to process investor requests rapidly enough,” said Firas Abi Ali, head of Middle East Analysis, IHS Country Risk.
Below is a roundup of reaction from around the world and how the news has impacted, oil prices and stock markets:
Gulf reaction: Tuesday’s deal will make the Middle East a “more dangerous part of the world” if it comes with too many concessions, a Saudi official told Reuters, signalling Gulf Arabs’ deep unease over the accord. The Saudis and their Gulf allies fear that the deal, by ending Iran’s pariah status and freeing its economy from crippling sanctions, will embolden Tehran to step up its backing for their foes across the Middle East.
Emerging stock markets and currencies: The Iran deal sent crude prices 2 percent lower and taking a toll on oil exporters Russia and Saudi Arabia. The rouble fell 0.8 percent against the dollar while dollar-denominated shares slipped more than 1 percent. “The rouble is the weakest link against the dollar so far today as the news that Iran has reached an agreement with world powers is weighing on oil,” Matys said predicting the rouble to test recent highs beyond 57.67 per dollar.
Global trade impact: Iran is preparing for a trade and investment boom that could reshape the region after agreeing with world powers to curb its nuclear programme, paving the way for sanctions that have stifled its economy to be lifted. With just under 80 million people and annual output of some $400 billion, Iran is set to be the biggest economy to rejoin the global trading and financial system since the break-up of the Soviet Union over two decades ago. “This is the deal that we have been waiting for, the one that will open the doors,” said Iranian investment banker Xanyar Kamangar, founding partner of Griffon Capital, an asset management and corporate advisory firm in Tehran. “This is the deal that we have been waiting for, the one that will open the doors,” said Iranian investment banker Xanyar Kamangar, founding partner of Griffon Capital, an asset management and corporate advisory firm in Tehran.
Oil prices: “New oil will not flow from Iran until 2016 and there will probably be less of it than optimists predict,” said Richard Nephew, Program Director for Economic Statecraft, Sanctions and Energy Markets at the US Center on Global Energy Policy. “I estimate 300,000 – 500,000 new barrels of oil on the market within 6-12 months after a deal begins to be implemented,” he said.
Iranians celebrate: Young Iranian men and women danced in streets in parts of Tehran and motorists honked car horns to cheer an historic nuclear accord with world powers they hope will end years of economic sanctions and decades of international isolation. “This is a first step to becoming a friend with the world,” Bahar Ghorbani, 36, a housewife who lives in Isfahan said.
US reaction: The nuclear deal between world powers and Iran starts a new phase of intense negotiation – this time between the Obama administration and the US Congress, where some Republicans have long been working to sink an agreement. Other leading Republicans went much further in their criticism. House Speaker John Boehner promised a fight. “Instead of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, this deal is likely to fuel a nuclear arms race around the world,” Boehner said in a statement.
China reaction: “The facts show that dialogue and negotiation were the only correct and effective path to appropriately resolve the Iran nuclear issue, and that certain country’s threatening to use force on Iran and imposing unilateral sanctions are not acceptable,” the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial piece. Source: Arabian Business