Iran and six world powers agreed to a framework for a final deal on Iran’s controversial nuclear program, officials announced Thursday.

The understanding paves the way for the start of a final phase of talks that aims to reach a comprehensive agreement by the end of June. The agreement concludes weeks of intense negotiations and comes two days beyond the initial March 31 deadline for an outline deal.

“We have reached solutions on key parameters on a joint comprehensive plan of action,” EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said at a joint press conference with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Reading a statement on behalf of negotiators, Mogherini specified that Europe will end all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions on Iran under the future deal. The United States will end similar sanctions upon verification of the agreement by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran will retain only one enrichment facility, Natanz, while the Fordo fortified site will be converted into a scientific center, according to the statement.

“We will now start drafting a comprehensive text,” Mogherini said.

U.S. President Barack Obama lauded the agreement as a “historic understanding” in a press statement outside The White House.

“I’m convinced that if this framework leads to a final comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies and our world safer,” Obama said… see more

source: huffingtonpost