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The deal with Iran, and what comes next

The agreement with Iran opens up new possibilities for both the United States and Russia in the Middle East.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) hugs French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius after a ceremony at the United Nations in Geneva November 24, 2013.  Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough agreement early on Sunday to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for limited sanctions relief, in a first step towards resolving a dangerous decade-old standoff. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX15QNB

The “joint plan of action” agreed to by six major powers and Iran in Geneva today is nothing short of a breakthrough, not only as an initial step in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program but also for broader issues of regional security in the Middle East.

The deal itself lays out a plan for the next six months while a comprehensive nuclear pact is negotiated. During these six months, Iran has agreed to unprecedented monitoring of its nuclear facilities, a halt to new centrifuge installation and uranium enrichment over 5% and no further development at Natanz, Fordow and the Arak reactor in return for some sanctions relief.

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