Iran Nuclear Deal a Small Step, But Major Breakthrough

The secret talks revealed that lead to historic nuclear freeze.
2:51 | 11/24/13

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Transcript for Iran Nuclear Deal a Small Step, But Major Breakthrough
breaking town, that historic nuclear deal with iran, agreeing to freeze its nuclear program for six months. A small step, because major breakthrough. Tonight here, we're learning about the secret talks that led to this. Secretary of state kerry rushing to the talks, celebrating with other foreign lead tlers after the deal was sealed. As he shook hands with iran's foreign minister there was another man very unhappy with this. Israeli prime minister benjamin gnat net ya hood, who late today got a call from president obama. The white house describing it as a useful discussion. So, what does iran have to give up? Was it worth it to america? Abc's chief foreign correspondent terry moran tonight. Reporter: The smiles and hand shakes told the story. They think they did a very big deal. So does president obama, who hailed the work of the negotiators. That diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure. Reporter: Under the deal, iran agreed to freeze its nuclear program, destroy its dangerous near-weapons-grade fuel and allow daily monitoring of key facilities by international inspectors. In return, the u.S. And allies agreed to ease some economic sanctions. About $7 billion worth, but leave most others still in force. And the whole deal is temporary. Six months for negotiators to hammer out a final agreement, which will be much more difficult to get done. On "this week," secretary of state john kerry argued this deal is plenty tough on iran and reversible. And if they're not prepared to do the things necessary to be able to have a peaceful program, truly peaceful, and provable as such, then the sanctions can be turned back up. Reporter: But the doubters and the critics are legions, starting in jerusalem, where israeli prime minister netanyahu blasted the deal, declaring it -- not an historic agreement. It's an historic mistake. It's not made the world a safer place. Reporter: In congress, most republicans and many democrats voiced deep skepticism of president obama's approach. We let him out of the trap. Reporter: And they are preparing even more tougher sanctions, which if passed would effectively kill this deal. And today, another diplomatic astonishment. It turns out there had been months of unprecedented secret talks between the u.S. And iran to lay the ground work for geneva. Five meetings this year, in the gulf nation of oman and elsewhere in the region, u.S. And iranian officials meeting face to face. President obama keeping some of the closest u.S. Allies, including israel, in the dark, as the agreement took shape in the secret talks. Secretary of state kerry came here to london today to begin work with allies on the next steps. Planning negotiations to cut the next deal and making sure iran abides by this one. David? All right, terry, thank you.

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