By Carlos A. Quiroga
From afar, the agreement reached last Tuesday between Iran and the world powers regarding the reduction of the original Iranian nuclear program, was unimaginable just days ago.
Iran renounces any attempt to construct nuclear weapons and agrees to drastically reduce its capacity to enrich uranium, right away. In this settlement, Iran agrees to preserve only the nuclear infrastructure required for peaceful purposes.
Iran had never admitted to having plans for the development of nuclear weapons, but now agrees nonetheless to go through rigorous inspections, that Tehran once considered an affront to its sovereignty.
In return, the international community led by the United States will gradually reduce the economic sanctions and other measures set upon Iran, that have left this country of approximately 80 million people, in a drowned state.
In the long term, this agreement may set a precedent of great importance:
“This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification”, President Barack Obama says in Washington. “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
Obama´s announcement was broadcasted live by Iranian Public Television, an unusual event in a country characterized by its strong censorship of media, in information disclosure issues and Western cultural values.
Not only on television. On Tuesday, Tehran’s streets gathered thousands of Iranians celebrating what they foresaw as the beginning of a period of peace and prosperity, after hearing about the nuclear agreement that will enable Iran to rapidly normalize its economic relations.
The celebrations contrasted with the large crowds that had chanted ¨Death to America¨ and ¨Death to Israel¨ during an annual protest day, a week before, in the same streets.
Although trust may take long to arrive, there is already an agreement.