Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Delegates from world powers pictured in Vienna, Austria on Tuesday after reaching an agreement. (Photo: Carlos Barria)

Opening Historic 'Possibility of Peace,' World Powers Clinch Iran Deal

Grassroots groups and heads of state are calling for US Congress to approve agreement and reject war

Sarah Lazare

Following years of arduous negotiations, and decades of hostile relations, Iran and world powers on Tuesday announced a nuclear agreement that proponents say provides a historic opening for military deescalation, relief from devastating sanctions, and ultimately, peace.

"This deal is a huge victory for diplomacy over war," Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams. "It prevents the very real threat of war with Iran but also, in the longer term, demonstrates the power and efficacy of diplomacy."

The accord culminates a marathon session of Vienna negotiations between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the European Union.

The deal was met with praise by numerous heads of state. Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Tuesday that the agreement is proof that "constructive engagement works," adding that the deal halts "illegal" sanctions.

"Whatever problems there are in the global peace movement in recent years, this victory is very much tied to the building of an anti-war movement against the war in Iraq... This has made price of war higher than price of diplomacy, and that's the victory we're seeing today."
—Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
President Barack Obama praised the agreement and vowed to fight for Congress to pass it: "I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Twitter, "This is the good deal we have sought," adding it is a step "towards possibility of peace."

And Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the world has "heaved a sigh of relief."

Not everyone expressed enthusiasm. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vigorously opposed diplomacy and advocated war with Iran, denounced the agreement as a "historic mistake for the world."

Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), also did not waste any time in casting doubt on the agreement, declaring: "In the coming days, Congress will need to scrutinize this deal and answer whether implementing the agreement is worth dismantling our painstakingly-constructed sanctions regime that took more than a decade to establish."

Under the deal, Iran will receive sanctions relief in exchange for limits to its domestic nuclear program. The White House fact sheet is available here.

"The agreement includes five major components," explained Peace Action, which has advocated for diplomacy, in a statement released Tuesday. "Decreasing the stockpile of material that could possibly be made into fissile material. Limiting the quantity and quality of centrifuges that could make highly enriched uranium needed for a nuclear bomb. Reconfiguring the nuclear reactor (and securing its spent fuel) in the city of Arak so it produces an insignificant amount of weapons grade plutonium. Implementing unprecedented inspections and comprehensive monitoring. And lastly, scheduling and implementing the lifting of specific sanctions on Iran."

Civil society organizations from around the world, including within Iran, have long pressed for diplomacy rather than military escalation and devastating sanctions.

"War would only make a future deal next to impossible, embroiling the U.S. and Iran in perpetual conflict. Some wanted to see that; we didn't."
—Trita Parsi, National Iranian American Council
Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian Ameican Council, on Tuesday heralded the deal as "the greatest achievement of the new millennium." Parsi added, "War would only make a future deal next to impossible, embroiling the U.S. and Iran in perpetual conflict. Some wanted to see that; we didn't."

Bennis emphasized: "Whatever problems there are in the global peace movement in recent years, this victory is very much tied to the building of an anti-war movement against the war in Iraq. The millions of people who flooded streets around the world on February 15, 2003 can claim this victory as their own. This has made price of war higher than price of diplomacy, and that's the victory we're seeing today."

However, Tuesday's announcement does not officially close the deal: it must still be approved by U.S. Congress, where it faces stiff opposition from hawkish lawmakers. To that end, U.S. groups including Just Foreign Policy, Win Without War, Peace Action, and Jewish Voice for Peace met the announcement with their own calls to action, declaring: Don't let U.S. lawmakers sabotage this chance for peace.

"This opportunity for the diplomatic process to succeed in avoiding war with Iran is too important to discard over partisan politics," said Rabbi Joseph Berman, government affairs liaison for Jewish Voice for Peace. "This is a strong deal and we urge our elected leaders to vote in favor of the agreement when it comes before Congress."

"Defend the Iran deal and stop Republicans from starting a war with Iran," reads a petition from groups including Just Foreign Policy and Code Pink. "We need to build an impenetrable firewall in Congress to prevent Republicans from passing any legislation to kill the deal and putting us back on the path to confrontation and war."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


Harris Says White House Not 'Discussing' Use of Federal Land for Abortion Care

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the Democratic lawmakers who have expressed support for the idea as GOP-controlled states move to outlaw abortion.

Jake Johnson ·

Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·

Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·

Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo