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Iran

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Index
  1. Iran Main Page
  2. Iran Becomes a Theocracy with Islamic Revolution
  3. U.S. and Iran Sever Ties Amid Hostage Crisis
  4. Khatami Attempts to Liberalize Nation
  5. Iran Taunts World With Nuclear Ambitions
  6. Ahmadinejad Elected President
  7. Iran Continues Progress on Nuclear Technology
  8. Presidential Election Thrusts Iran into Crisis
  9. Leaked Cables Show Arab Countries Wary of Iran
  10. Experts Fear Iran Will Exploit Tumult in Middle East
  11. Advances in Nuclear Program Lead to Additional Sanctions
  12. Relationship with Israel Reaches Critical Point
  13. Centrist Elected President of Iran; Reaches Out to West with a Charm Offensive
  14. Iran Agrees to Scale Back Nuclear Program
Iran Agrees to Scale Back Nuclear Program

Talks about Iran's nulcear program between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany resumed in October and again November after being on hold for six months. They were the most promising and specific to date. In a separate agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran said it would give the agency inspectors "managed access" to nuclear facilities in Bandar Abbas and Arak so they can gather data about activities. The agreement does not require that Iran hand over proprietary information about their technology. The plant at Bandar Abbas is a mine that produces yellowcake uranium, and Arak houses a heavy-water production plant. Iran, however, did not grant the IAEA access to the plant at Parchin, where inspectors think Iran tested triggers for nuclear devices.

On Nov. 24 at a third round of talks in Geneva, Iran reached a six-month deal with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. Iran agreed to halt production of uranium beyond 5%, which means it could only produce uranium for peaceful purposes; dilute or convert to oxide its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20%; not install new centrifuges; give UN inspectors daily access to enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordo. In return, the crippling sanctions against Iran were eased, pumping between $6 billion and $7 billion back into Iran's economy. The sanctions will be reinstated if Iran does not comply. Negotiations for a long-term agreement will continue during the six-month period. Israel and Saudi Arabia both expressed outrage about the deal, fearing their power in the Middle East would be threatened or diminished by closer ties between the U.S. and Iran and by Iran's potential wealth from oil revenue and its nuclear know-how.

By the time the next round of talks opened in February 2014, Iran's economy was showing signs of rebounding, with inflation falling from 45% in 2013 to less than 30%—a result of the easing of sanctions. While representatives at the six-party talks disclosed little about the progress, they said they had agreed on a detailed framework for moving forward—certainly reason for cautious optimism. The next round of talks is set to begin in March.

Iran, which holds tremendous influence over the Shiite-led government of Iraq, has advised Iraq during the crisis. Qassim Suleimani, head of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, traveled to Baghdad to help Maliki and military leaders plan a response to the ISIS advance, and Iran has regularly sent military supplies to Iraq. Syria has also contributed, launching airstrikes targeted at ISIS militants in western Iraq.

See also Encyclopedia: Iran .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Iran

Information Please® Database, © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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