Diplomats from five world powers, including the U.S., Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany have come to a preliminary agreement with Iran over the country's nuclear program. The agreement comes after a series of late night discussions in Lausanne, Switzerland.
According to the new deal, Iran will drop its supply of low-enriched uranium by 98% while reducing its quantity of installed centrifuges. The United States, for its part, would lift the sanctions it has imposed on Iran in recent years.
President Obama recently spoke about the agreement, calling it "a good deal... that meets our core objectives," and "would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon."
While any long-term deal remains to be realized, this framework marks a significant turning point in the relationship between the U.S. and Iran - two countries that, until two years ago, hadn't officially corresponded for almost four decades.
In an interview with CNN, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry explained that "It was tough, very intense at time, sometimes emotional and confrontational. It was a very intensive process, because the stakes are very high...For 35 years, we haven't talked with the Iranians directly like this."
News of the deal has been well received by Iranians. However, some members of Congress, such as Tom Cotton, a senator from Arkansas, and other countries, like Israel, aren't welcoming the new framework.
In fact, Israel released an official announcement that called the agreement "a poor framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement...If an agreement is reached on the basis of this framework, it will result in a historic mistake that will make the world a far more dangerous place."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went a step further and said the framework "would threaten the survival of Israel."
Congress greeted the new framework with mixed reviews. While most Democrats favored the agreement and Republicans remained skeptical, they all seemed to agree that they needed to play a large role in the process.
John A. Boehner, House Speaker, said: "Congress must be allowed to fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted...After visiting with our partners on the ground in the Middle East this week, my concerns about Iran's efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown. It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region."
On a side note, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact such a deal will have on the price of oil. If sanctions are lifted on Iran, and they are able to once again produce oil for the rest of the world, then it's possible we might see another dip in the price of oil.
According to Naeem Aslam, a chief market analyst with AvaTrade, "The Iran nuclear deal is a massive blow for the oil price and we could see the crude-oil price falling to $30 very easily. This deal actually represents one million barrels a day of extra oil on the market so net effect on the supply equation will be nearly 2 million [a day]."
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