by Phyllis Bennis
Negotiators in Lausanne, Switzerland just won a huge victory for diplomacy over war.
The hard-fought first-stage negotiations resulted in the outlines of an agreement that will significantly limit Iran’s nuclear program in return for significant relief from crippling economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations.
Both sides made major concessions, though it appears Iran’s are far greater.
Tehran accepted that U.S. and EU sanctions will not be lifted until after the UN’s watchdog agency verifies that Iran has fully implemented its new nuclear obligations — which could be years down the line. It agreed to severe cuts in its nuclear infrastructure, including the reduction of its current 19,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium to just over 6,000.
Iran has promised to make drastic cuts to its nuclear programme in return for the gradual lifting of sanctions as part of a historic breakthrough in Lausanne that could end a 13-year nuclear standoff.