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Iran, West Nearing Possible Nuclear Deal

After years of unsuccessful negotiations, Iranian leaders and the international community may be nearing a multiphase agreement on Iran\'s nuclear program.
Posted at 9:49 AM, Nov 08, 2013

After years of unsuccessful negotiations, a possible breakthrough between Iran and world leaders on the country's nuclear program may now be near.  

Iran's foreign minister tells The Guardian officials could start drafting a deal as soon as Friday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other world leaders unexpectedly made their way to Geneva, Switzerland to reportedly negotiate any differences. (Via MSNBC, BBC)

Details on the agreement have yet to be released, but it's likely to involve a multi-phase plan limiting Iran's nuclear program and easing the West's crippling economic sanctions on the country. 

U.S. officials told CNN Iran would halt enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, the jumping point to weapons-grade purity.  

In exchange, the international community would acknowledge Iran's right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

If Iran followed through on the interim deal for six months, Washington would then reportedly unfreeze some Iranian assets overseas, and also ease sanctions barring trade with the country. (Via The New York Times)

The deal would mark a major turning point in relations between Iran and other world leaders, but not everyone is sold on the potential agreement.  

 According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal: " ... already faces major opposition both from its allies in the Middle East and members of Congress. Israel, in particular, has been deeply skeptical."

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters Iran is getting the " ... the deal of the century ... " while the international community " ... got a bad deal." He also affirmed the deal will not apply to Israel, and the country will do " ... everything it needs to defend itself and ... the security of its people." (Los Angeles Times)

In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Chuck Todd, President Obama tried to calm critics' concerns, explaining a deal isn't about easing sanctions, but ensuring that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. 

"We don't have to trust them. What we have to do is make sure that there is a good deal in place from the perspective of us verifying what they're doing, and that they're actually moving in the right direction." (Via NBC)

The multistage deal would reportedly also require Iran to reduce its number of uranium centrifuges from 19,000 to 9,000, and allow United Nations inspectors access to currently-secret plants where centrifuges are produced. (Via USA Today)