Since the early hours of 14 July 2015, when it was announced that representatives of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, the US and the UK plus Germany (P5+1) – had reached a landmark agreement with Iran in Vienna, Austria, aimed at curbing the Islamic republic’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, the world has been busy discussing the merits or the demerits of the deal.
Vociferous opponents in Washington accuse the Obama administration – so anxious to secure the deal – of having sold out Israel in precipitous backroom dealings. They also suggest that the other council members were totally non-existent. Proponents maintain that a better deal is impossible to reach.
Either way, it was without a doubt the result of one of the most arduous negotiations processes in recent memory. The timeline below reveals the long and painstaking journey: