World leaders have hailed the Iran nuclear deal, with US President Barack Obama envisioning a “new direction” and Russian President Vladimir Putin voicing a global “huge sigh of relief”, although Israel criticised it as a “historic mistake”.
The accord, which seeks to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme, was announced on Tuesday by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the European Union’s policy chief Federica Mogherini in a joint statement in the Austrian capital.
|Iran’s state news agency IRNA says|
Obama said the agreement offered a chance to reset strained relations with Tehran.
“Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” he said, adding that the deal “offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it.”
Part of the deal, which covers the lifting of US sanctions need to be approved by the American Congress, and Obama vowed to veto any legislation blocking it.
“This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification,” said Obama.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the “honest and hard endeavours” of the country’s nuclear negotiating team in a post on Twitter carrying the #IranDeal hastag.
Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran, commented on the deal on Twitter:
#IranDeal shows constructive engagement works. With this unnecessary crisis resolved, new horizons emerge with a focus on shared challenges.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) July 14, 2015
Addressing the Iranian nation, Rouhani said: “We didn’t ask for charity. We asked for fair, just and win-win negotiations.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, criticised the deal calling the decision “a historic mistake for the world”.
“Iran will get hundreds of billions of dollars with which it will be able to fuel its terror machine,” he said, referring to the expected lifting of crippling Western sanctions on its oil and banking sectors.
In a second statement on Tuesday afternoon, Netanyahu said the deal gives Iran incentives “not to change” and said “the world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday.”
|What do we know about Iran deal contents?|
Meanwhile, thousands of Iranians gathered in the capital to celebrate the deal following the end of Ramadan fast on Tuesday. They waved Iranian flags from their cars, while drivers honked their car horns.
“My personal opinion is that I wish they had done this sooner so people wouldn’t have to go through all these difficulties,” Masumeh Momeni, a resident of Tehran, told Al Jazeera.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif called the deal a “win-win” solution to end “an unnecessary crisis and open new horizons for dealing with serious problems that affect our international community.”
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Vienna, said that for the presidents of the United States and Iran “it is a historic deal that would serve some kind of a re-set after decades of mistrust.”
But he also said that “there are many forces that do not want the deal to succeed”.
Among those will be senior Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates in the US, who strongly criticised the deal on Tuesday.
White House hopefuls Scott Walker and Rick Perry vowed to rip it up if they reach the Oval Office and Senator Marco Rubio suggested he would re-impose sanctions.
The accord seeks to end nearly 12 years of nuclear stand off between Iran and the western powers led by the US.
The accord will keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years and impose new provisions for inspections of Iranian facilities, including military sites.
Iran was resisting the probe in the country’s alleged work on nuclear weapons and demanding that a United Nations arms embargo to be lifted.
It also demanded that any UN Security Council resolution approving the broader deal no longer describe Iran’s nuclear activities as illegal.
The accord also contains what is being described as a snapback clause.
This means UN sanctions will be restored within 65 days if Iran does not comply with the terms of the agreement.
In Damascus, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, a key Iran ally, had “achieved a historic victory” with the agreement.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the deal would boost the regional economy.
Alongside him in Ankara, his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari also supported the deal and emphasised keeping “doors of dialogue open”.
Meanwhile the Vatican hoped the agreement would “bear fruit” which would extend beyond simply Iran’s nuclear programme.