From Bibi’s bomb to a nuclear deal – A timeline of events

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From Bibi’s bomb to a nuclear deal – A timeline of events

Timeline – Iran Nuclear Talks: September 2012-present

Netanyahu speaking at the United Nations in 2012
Netanyahu speaking at the United Nations in 2012

September 2012

Israel’s Prime Minister Benhamin Netanyahu’s displays a cartoon ‘bomb’, representing the Iranian nuclear threat. During his speech, he drew a red line on a cartoon bomb and said Iran was only a year away from having an atomic weapon.

November 2012

The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reports that Iran is continuing to produce Uranium enriched to 20%.

March 2013 

The United States begin a series of secret meetings with Iranian officials.

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

June 2013 

Hassan Rouhani is elected president of Iran, and is believed to be more pragmatic and willing to cooperate in comparison to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (the previous president of Iran), yet asserts the country will maintain its nuclear program.

September 2013 

A phone call takes place between US president Barack Obama and Rouhani; the first contact between leaders of the US and Iran since 1979.

November 2013 

Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, UK, US and Germany) reach an interim agreement, labelled the joint plan of action, limiting Iran’s nuclear programme and unfreezing some Iranian assets.

July 2014 

Deadline for a comprehensive agreement is not met and is to be extended until November 2014.


November 2014 

Again the deadline is not met and is extended to June 2015.

March 2015

Foreign ministers from France, the UK, Germany, China and Iran meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, and compile a finalised agreement.

April 2015 

Iranians celebrate as it is announced that sanctions relief will be given as consequence of restrictions being imposed on Iran’s nuclear programme deal.

Negotiations about Iranian Nuclear Program - the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Other Officials of the P5+1 and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Iran and EU in Lausanne (April 2015)
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Other Officials of the P5+1 and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Iran and EU in Lausanne (April 2015)

June 2015 

No official deal has been achieved, yet meetings continue between P5+1 and Iran ahead of the 30th June deadline.

Obama claims he will walk away from the deal if Tehran does not stick to the agreed outline.

July 2015 

Foreign ministers from the P5+1 meet in Vienna. John Kerry [the then US Secretary of State) claims negotiations could go ‘either way’ and there is ‘no rush’ to conclude negotiations.

The deadline to reach an agreement is pushed back to 13 July. President Rouhani claims Iran had ‘managed to amaze the world’. Zarif remarks he is feeling ‘sleepy and overworked’ as the new deadline is missed.

14 July 2015

Barack Obama announces a historic agreement that ‘every path to a nuclear weapon is cut off’ for Iran, and the deal is not built on trust, but rather ‘verification’. Obama claims the deal is a ‘step away from the spectre of conflict and towards the possibility of peace.’


By Carla Bernstein

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