(Picture: AP
(Picture: AP

Barack Obama hailed a "more hopeful world" in its wake, while Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "historic mistake", but what exactly does the Iran nuclear deal involve?

What has Iran agreed to?

  • Cutting by two-thirds, to 5,060, its centrifuges at its key processing centre in Natanz. Iran will reduce its current stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which can be processed into bomb-grade fuel, by 96 per cent to 300kg. It will also allow the International Atomic Energy Agency access to all its sites and will not build any new enrichment facilities for 15 years. This extends Iran’s breakout time – the period estimated it would take Iran to produce sufficient fissile material for one weapon – to one year.

What does Iran get?

  • International sanctions will be lifted, perhaps by the end of the year when UN monitors will issue a compliance report, allowing it to start selling oil again on international markets. It will also be permitted to use the global financial system for trade and commerce. An arms embargo will be ended more slowly.

What can opponents do?

  • In the US, Capitol Hill has 60 days to review the deal and Barack Obama cannot waive sanctions during that time. The President has said he would veto any measure that sought to scotch the deal. Israel has said it is not bound by the deal.

What issues remain?

  • It remains unclear just how unfettered the new inspections will be. If at any point Iran is deemed to have broken the terms of the deal, the sanctions system will return via a “snap-back” mechanism.

What does it mean for Iran in economic terms?

  • Reports suggested yesterday that Iran believes it will be able to increase oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day as soon as sanctions are lifted, then an additional 500,000 a day in the following six months. Iran could gain access to an estimated $100bn (£64bn) in foreign-exchange holdings that are restricted by sanctions. The removal of banking and trade sanctions would open doors to foreign investors eyeing a market of 80 million people.
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