Back-patting a-plenty for the diplomats and negotiators in Geneva after the agreement between the 5+1 group and Iran on Tehran’s nuclear development programme.
The long months of tentative attempts at dialogue, especially for America and Iran, looking at each other across 30 years of mutual mistrust and angry silence, bore fruit in Geneva, but not everyone’s convinced.
US Secretary of State John Kerry outlined the financial aspect of sanctions relief.
“The main elements of this relief would hold Iran’s oil sales steady and permit it to repatriate 4.2 billion dollars from those sales, and that would otherwise be destined for an overseas account restricted by our sanctions,” he said.
Being able to sell more oil will help Iran’s balance of payments. In return Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium above 5%, and to neutralise its stockpile of 20% enriched isotopes, from which weapons-grade uranium can be made.
In addition it will freeze its nuclear work and end the building of a reactor that when operational would produce the bombmaker’s favourite, plutonium.
The negotiators believe this is enough to keep nuclear weapons out of Tehran’s hands, and that if Iran breaks the deal sanctions can be reapplied and stiffened easily.