Iran nuclear talks in Vienna
Iran nuclear talks in Vienna Reuters

Iran and world powers are expected to announce a nuclear deal at 1:00 pm local time (IST), as the world waits for the agreement Israeli officials have deemed a historical disaster.

An Iranian diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the deal has been reached, saying, "all the hard work has paid off and we sealed a deal. God bless our people."

Another Iranian official confirmed to the news source that the agreement was reached.

Later Tuesday, the diplomat confirmed some alleged details of the agreement, including:

  • that a UN arms embargo would remain in place for five years; 
  • that UN missile sanctions would stay in place for eight years; 
  • and that Iran has allegedly accepted a "snapback" plan whereby sanctions would be restored within 65 days if it was found that it was violating the agreement.

Israeli officials livid

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) blasted the agreement pre-announcement Tuesday morning.

"This agreement is a historic capitulation agreement of the West to the axis of evil led by Iran," she stated. "The consequences of the agreement in the foreseeable future are very serious, Iran will continue to spread the terror and it will metastasize everywhere, continue to stoke the flames Middle East, and worst of all make a huge step towards being a nuclear threshold state."

"The State of Israel will work via all diplomatic means to try to prevent the ratification of the agreement." 

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) also responded to the deal, saying "Iran today received a license to kill, and it must be revoked before it's too late."

"The fact that they're celebrating in Tehran teaches that the deal is bad for the free world. Bad for humanity. Now is the time to come together at home and go out on an explanation campaign for the American public opinion," said Regev. "The last word hasn't been said and the American Congress isn't ready to approve the capitulation deal of the West against the terror state."

According to Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud), "the only thing that is certain about the deal with Iran is that it won't be upheld and Iran will continue nuclear development threatening the peace of the entire world."

"The headlines, the embraces, and the smiles in Vienna today promise as soon as tomorrow concern, worries, and a lack of security to all countries in the Middle East and to the states that signed on the deal," said Akunis. "It is sad that instead of learning from the mistakes made in recent history, there are sources in the (world) community that repeat them."

His reference would apparently be to the deal signed by the US with North Korea in the 1990s, which roughly ten years later allowed the Communist regime to obtain nuclear weapons.

Immigrant Absorption and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) also referenced history. 

"Western world leaders are repeating the historic mistake of obsequiousness and acquiescence in the face of terror, which is racing toward a nuclear weapon," he said. "The Vienna agreement forged today is reminiscent of the Munich agreement - but the State of Israel will not agree to be Czechoslovakia! The Zionist movement was established so that the Jewish people can defend itself with its own forces and not to subjects to the decisions of the Chaimberlains of the day!"

Science Minister Danny Danon (Likud) looked to the future following the arrangement. 

"This is a dangerous agreement for the state of Israel and the entire free world," he said. "The funds that will flow to Iran (in sanctions relief - ed.) will fuel first of all the terror on the streets of Jerusalem, and Washington and London." 

"I call on our friends and partners in democratic parliaments around the world: push off this deal."

What's at stake?

The exact contents of the deal have remained under fierce speculation, after Iran has made a number of last-minute demands and sources differ on key points such as the lifting of the US arms embargo on the Islamic Republic and whether international inspectors will have access to all nuclear sites. 

The UN Security Council is expected to adopt the agreement later this month, a diplomatic source told Walla! News Tuesday morning, and the steps outlined in the agreement, including restrictions on Iran's nuclear program and easing of sanctions, will be completed during the first half of 2016.

The lifting of sanctions would be a compromise for Iran, which has insisted that they be lifted immediately upon the signing of the agreement; Russian news agencies, meanwhile, have stated Tuesday that the lifting of sanctions and all other terms are expected to be applied within the next three days. 

Major disagreements in the talks have included Iran's refusal to allow inspections on sensitive nuclear sites, its refusal to disclose the military aspects of its nuclear program, its demand for the immediate removal of all sanctions, and a demand to end the UN arms embargo on the Islamic regime.

Israeli politicians have warned that the deal presents a direct threat to Israel and to the West at large; Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon stated Monday that once the deal is signed, Israel will have to "defend itself" at all costs against the nuclear threshold state.