World leaders welcome landmark Iran nuclear deal

Iran and six world powers have finally concluded an agreement that will lift sanctions on Iran but place strict limits on its nuclear programme for more than a decade. The comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme is being termed as a historic compromise, bringing to an end a 12-year standoff that had threatened to trigger a new conflict in the Middle East, and potentially marking the beginning of a new era in relations between Iran and the west.

Leaders from all over the world have started to react to the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers achieved in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the “historic agreement” could help bring peace to the Middle East. Ban praised the “determination and the commitment” of the negotiators who hammered out the deal, as well as the “courage of the leaders” who approved it.

“I hope – and indeed believe – that this agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East,” Ban said in a statement

Speaking from the White House Tuesday morning, Obama called the deal a victory for diplomacy that would prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and avert a possible conflict with Iran.   “No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,” Obama said. He reaffirmed America’s commitment to Israel’s security and Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia, while adding that the U.S. is “open to engagement on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.” “This is the good deal that we have sought,” Kerry said in a statement from Vienna.  

French President Francois Hollande in his traditional annual televised interview on France’s national day said: “It’s a very important deal that was signed overnight, the world is making headway.”

Britain also hailed the nuclear deal and hoped the deal would trigger a significant change in Tehran’s relations with the rest of the world. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement “We hope, and expect, that this agreement will herald a step-change in Iran’s relations with its neighbours and with the international community,”. He added that the agreement imposed strict limits and inspections on Iran’s nuclear programme and the international community could have confidence that the programme was, and would remain “exclusively peaceful”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin termed Iran deal as a “firm choice for stability and cooperation”.

“We are certain that today the world has breathed a huge sigh of relief,” Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin’s website.

“Despite attempts to argue in favour of scenarios of force, the participants of the talks made a firm choice for stability and cooperation.” Putin said Moscow would “do everything in its power” to ensure the agreement worked and called on all sides to fulfill their part of the bargain.

In a message to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Syrian President Basharul Assad congratulated Tehran on a deal he said would be a “major turning point in the history of Iran, the region and the world”.

The deal concluded in Vienna on Tuesday after prolonged talks between foreign ministers that binds Iran, the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China to a series of undertakings stretching over many years. According to the agreement, Iran will dismantle much of its nuclear infrastructure, while the UN, US and EU will take down a wall of sanctions built around Iran over the past nine years.

Earlier Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has been leading his country’s delegation in Vienna, described the agreement as a “win-win” solution but not perfect.

“I believe this is a historic moment,” he said. “We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody but is what we could accomplish. Today could have been the end of hope, but now we are starting a new chapter of hope.”

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