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Iran and six world powers have reached an interim agreement: Iran will halt and reverse some elements of its nuclear programme for six months in return for moderate relief from the economic sanctions that have isolated the Islamic Republic.

Many hope the agreement marks a first step towards detente. It was widely hailed as “historic” and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported it. But opposition to the deal, notably from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who dubbed it a “historic mistake” and dissenting US Congress voices, came just as swiftly.

As negotiations continue over six months to reach a comprehensive agreement, Empire tracks how Iran-US relations became mired in ideological hostility and the more recent diplomatic impasse over suspicion — at times alarmist — that Iran has been covertly working on a nuclear bomb, while Tehran insists its nuclear energy ambitions are peaceful. As sanctions on Iran have increased, so too have the technical capabilities of the country’s nuclear programme.

In this episode, Empire looks more deeply into the particularities of the Iran-US relationship, what the recent agreement signifies, the response from the Arab world, and we ask whether such a deal has the potential to reshape the Middle East. To understand the complexities and what lies ahead, we turn to the most illuminating voices, experts and key players in the US and in the Middle East.At Al Jazeera English, we focus on people and events that affect people’s lives. We bring topics to light that often go under-reported, listening to all sides of the story and giving a ‘voice to the voiceless.’
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