World powers have reached a deal with Iran on limiting Iranian nuclear activity in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions.
US President Barack Obama said that with the deal, “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off” for Iran.
Iran’s foreign minister called the agreement “historic”. The EU negotiator hailed it as “a sign of hope”.
The deal reportedly gives UN nuclear inspectors extensive but not automatic access to sites within Iran.
Negotiations between Iran and six world powers – the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany – began in 2006.
The so-called P5+1 want Iran to scale back its sensitive nuclear activities to ensure that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.
Iran, which wants crippling international sanctions lifted, has always insisted that its nuclear work is peaceful.
Obama said that the deal “makes the world safer and more secure”, and that it provides for a rigorous verification regime. “This deal is not built on trust – it is built on verification,” he said.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the deal was “a sign of hope for the entire world”.
“It is a decision that can open the way to a new chapter in international relations,” she said, ahead of a final meeting between negotiators in Vienna.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the deal was “not perfect for anybody”, but that it was the “best achievement possible that could be reached”.
Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, tweeted: “With this unnecessary crisis resolved, new horizons emerge with a focus on shared challenges.”
The text of the deal is yet to be officially released but these are some of the details it is believed to contain:
*A compromise over the inspection of sites within Iran, the Associated Press quotes a diplomat as saying – UN inspectors would be allowed to monitor military sites but Iran could challenge requests for access
*Iran has accepted that sanctions could be restored in 65 days if it violates the deal, Reuters cited diplomats as saying
*A UN arms embargo and missile sanctions would remain in place for five and eight years respectively, Reuters reports
*Sanctions in areas including oil and gas trading, financial transactions, aviation and shipping will be lifted and billions of dollars of Iranian assets unfrozen, Iranian media report
Separately, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran said they had signed a roadmap to resolve outstanding issues.
IAEA head Yukiya Amano told reporters in Vienna that his organisation had signed a roadmap “for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme”.
He called the agreement a “significant step forward”, saying it would allow the agency to “make an assessment of issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme by the end of 2015″.
There has been stiff resistance to a deal from conservatives both in Iran and the US.
Israel’s government has also warned against an agreement, reports the BBC.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a “historic mistake” that would provide Iran with “hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe”.
APPLY: WTO opens entry for 2022 young professionals programme
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has opened applications for its 2022 Young Professional Programme (YPP).
The programme provides opportunity for young professionals to enhance their knowledge of the organisation and international trade issues.
In 2021, 14 professionals out of 2,400 candidates were selected for the programme from Bangladesh, Belize, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Guatemala, Georgia, Indonesia, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Chinese Taipei and Thailand.
WTO said “The YPP is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience which can help open the door for future professional opportunities in the field of multilateral diplomacy and global trade.
“The YPP selection gives preference to young professionals from developing and least-developed countries that are members of the WTO and whose nationals are currently under-represented or not represented in the organization’s Secretariat.
“The programme is part of the Secretariat’s overall goal to increase its diversity to better reflect the make-up of its membership.”
To be eligible, applicants must be of age 32 as of January 1, 2022, and selected candidates will work at the WTO secretariat for one year, starting from the beginning of next year.
The areas of work at the programme includes accessions, agriculture, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, market access, media and external relations, WTO rules, trade and development, trade and environment, trade in services and investment, trade facilitation, trade policy analysis and trade-related technical assistance.
WTO said candidates must have advanced university degree in law, economics, or other international trade-related subjects relevant to WTO work; must possess relevant expertise or continued academic study in a field of interest to the work of the WTO.
Equally, candidates must similarly have a minimum of two years relevant work experience.
The trade organisation further said selected candidates will be paid $3821.66 (N1,454,141.63 million) monthly and applications can be accessed on the WTO e-Recruitment website and should be completed no later than 29 April 2021.
Buhari receives briefing from Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President had last Thursday returned to the country after a16-day medical trip to London, United Kingdom.
He left Nigeria on Tuesday, March 30, briefly after a security meeting with defense and intelligence chiefs as well as other security sector managers.
Gunmen attack Imo police station, kidnap officer
A police officer has been abducted in an attack on Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state on Thursday morning.
This comes three days after the state Police Command headquarters and Owerri Correctional Center were attacked while 1,884 inmates released.
A resident of Mbieri said the gunmen released the suspects in custody.
However, the policemen on duty were said to have engaged the attackers in a gun duel but they were reportedly overpowered by the gunmen who had sophisticated weapons.
A community leader, Nokey Ebikam, told newsmen that the police divisional headquarters was not burnt but only freed the suspects in detention after vandalizing it.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attack on the police station but did not go into details.
It was gathered that aside the officer who was abducted, two others sustained injuries in the incident which is the second major attack on a police station since an armed gang invaded the state police headquarters on Monday.
The Police authorities have blamed the attacks on the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) but the group has distanced itself from the attacks.
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