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World leaders voice relief at Iran nuclear deal

July 14, 2015

A nuclear arms deal reached by Iran and six world powers on Tuesday has been hailed by many leaders with hope for the world's security. Others, however, have remained skeptical of Iran's attitudes to terrorism.

Barack Obama Iran Nuclear Vertrag Einigung Atom Deal
Image: picture-alliance/EPA/A. Harnik

The nearly 100-page agreement, reached after 18 gruelling days of talks in Vienna, imposes new provisions for the inspection of Iranian facilities and will aim to keep Iran from producing enough of the fissile material it would need to make a nuclear bomb.

US President Barack Obama said he envisioned a "new direction" as a result of the agreement, with NATO calling the pact a "historic breakthrough."

Similarly, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced a global "huge sigh of relief" and described the nuclear deal as a "firm choice for stability and cooperation."

Egypt's foreign ministry said it "hopes the deal would prevent an arms race in the Middle East, clear it from weapons of mass destruction […] and lead to peace and stability in the region."

Echoing Egypt's sentiments was The United Arab Emirates who said Iran's "new direction" would demonstrate a genuine desire for Iran to help extinguish fires devouring the region."

Österreich Atomverhandlung mit dem Iran in Wien
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad ZarifImage: Mehr

'Historic mistake'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was of a different opinion, however, and expressed his country's concern over the nuclear deal during a telephone call with Obama, calling the agreement a "historic mistake" marked by "huge compromises." According to an Israeli government source, Netanyahu raised two main dangers.

"It will afford Iran the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons in 10-15 years time, whether it keeps to the agreement, and beforehand if it breaks the deal," the source said.

"Additionally, it will channel billions of dollars to the Iranian terror and war machine which threatens Israel and the entire world."

Economical advantages

Obama later spoke to his German, French and British counterparts who have also supported the deal. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the pact would "make our world a safer place," adding that Iran now has a "real opportunity" to benefit economically from the deal.

Closer to home, however, Obama received criticism from Republicans who claim the deal isn't tough enough with regards to enforcement.

Infografik Iran's nuclear program
Iran's nuclear program

'Support for terrorism'

Canada was also skeptical of Tuesday's deal. Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson stressed concerns that Iran remains a "significant threat to international peace," particularly in light of "its continuing support for terrorism, its repeated calls for the destruction of Israel and its disregard for basic human rights."

ksb/jil (Reuters/AFP)

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