World powers strike deal with Iran

By Abraham Shanedling

The United States and five other world powers announced late Saturday night that they had reached an agreement with Iran that would temporarily freeze much of Iran’s nuclear program in return for $6 to $7 billion in sanctions relief.

The full text of the agreement, which is to last six months, can be found here.

Although the agreement requires Iran to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent, the deal does not require Iran to completely cease enrichment, including to low levels of 3.5 percent or to dismantle any of its existing centrifuges.

Appearing on live television shortly after the announcement of the deal, President Obama said the agreement includes "substantial limitations that will help prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon."

White House statement called the nuclear agreement an "initial, six-month step," and noted that the accord includes limits on Iran's ability to "produce weapons-grad plutonium" from its heavy water reactor in Arak.

On Sunday however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has consistently expressed his distrust with Iran, called the agreement a "historic mistake," likening the agreement to that reached with North Korea in 2005.

Meanwhile, with the agreement in place, Congressional efforts to ratchet up sanctions will now be on pause at least for the six-month window.