Sources familiar with the talks say that an agreement was reached regarding access to military sites in Iran suspected of being nuclear sites and that the sanctions on Tehran will be removed at the beginning of 2016, only after an inspection by the UN.

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Iranian news agency ISNA reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini are expected to give a joint statement in a few hours in what appears to be the historic agreement between the parties.  According to the report, the joint statement will be given at the UN headquarters in the presence of the foreign ministers of the six powers. 

A diplomatic source claims that the draft agreement includes access for UN inspectors to all Iranian sites, including military sites, where nuclear activities take place.  According to the source, the information is based on a meeting conducted by the six world powers after midnight.

The source noted that if the agreement is reached with Iran on the issue, the UN Security Council will have to adopt the details of the agreement, namely the cessation of Iran’s nuclear project and to relieve the economic sanctions against Iran.  It is estimated that these conditions will be implemented in the first half of 2016 only after all concerns about Iran’s nuclear program are removed.  According to the official, the agreement is preliminary and is subject to change.

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The historic nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers was expected to be signed yesterday.  News agencies reported that diplomats from the agreement were expected to sign in the morning. 

Last night, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the negotiations were continuing.  “Significant progress has been made but there are several points that have not yet been resolved,” Earnest stated at a press conference.  “A long list of disputes slowly dwindled and there are signs that we are on the way to an agreement, but nothing will be signed without giving solutions to all of our concerns.”

Sources familiar with the details of the talks say that the main dispute is regarding concerns on the arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council against Iran.  Iran is demanding they lift the embargo, which is supported by Russia and China, but the United States opposes it vigorously. 

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani tweeted last night that the “Iran deal is the victory of diplomacy and mutual respect over the outdated paradigm of exclusion and coercion.  And this is a good beginning.”  However, shortly after the publication, the tweet was deleted. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly criticized the emerging nuclear deal yesterday.  “There are those who are willing to make an agreement at any price, and there is no way and no desire to avoid this bad agreement,” Netanyahu said at a Likud meeting.  “We did not commit to preventing or avoiding an agreement, certainly not so that the world powers would sign at any price.  We did commit to preventing Iran from using a nuclear weapon.”

According to Netanyahu, were it not for Israel’s attempts over the years, Iran would already have a nuclear bomb.  “Our commitment is valid today more than ever,” the Prime Minister stated.  “I call on all those for whom Israel’s security is precious to stand united behind this commitment.”