Diplomats on both sides are saying that a formal nuclear deal has been reached between Iran and major world powers. Negotiators have announced a "final" Vienna meeting in the lengthy process for later on Tuesday.
Iran, along with the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have reached a historic deal on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, diplomats said on Tuesday.
"All the hard work has paid off and we sealed a deal. God bless our people," an Iranian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters news agency. Reuters reported that this statement was confirmed by a second Iranian diplomat, though no remarks have been made from the other major powers taking part in the negotiations.
Shortly thereafter, the Associated Press cited an unnamed "senior Western diplomat" as saying that both sides had reached a compromise agreement, also on condition of anonymity.
Spokeswomen from the EU and the US Department of State did confirm, however, that all the representatives would be meeting in Vienna for a "final plenary" discussion at 10:30 am local time (0830 UTC/GMT). The delegates from Iran, the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany would hold a press conference immediately afterward, they said.
At the news of a deal, Israel's deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, accused the other powers of "capitulation of historic proportions" to the Islamic Republic:
Hotovely also wrote that Israel would try to block approval of the agreement. According to Reuters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal a "bad mistake."
After missing several self-imposed deadlines in recent weeks and more than a decade of disputes over Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which it has always maintained is for peaceful, energy-related purposes, a final deal between all the negotiators appeared imminent on Monday evening.
The deal would see Iran’s number of nuclear centrifuges reduced and the implementation of strict UN inspections in exchange for the other powers progressively lifting painful economic sanctions.
es/msh (AP, Reuters)