World Welcomes Historic Deal

World Welcomes Historic DealWorld Welcomes Historic Deal

Iran and the major powers reached a historic deal in Vienna on Tuesday to mark the end of a 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

The countries engaged in talks with Iran included the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, namely the US, Britain, France, Russian and China, plus Germany, known as P5+1.

The historic agreement has met with welcoming reactions from many of the world's leaders and officials.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the deal would help “make our world a safer place” and said Iran now had a “real opportunity” to benefit from the pact economically.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond expects that the deal will herald a change in Iran's relations with its neighbors and with the international community.

French President Francois Hollande praised the deal, saying it shows the "world is making headway" and that "Iran must show that it is ready to help us end the (Syrian) conflict."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the nuclear deal could "normalize" Tehran's international relations and even help resolve crises in the Middle East.

"This is a historic deal in its aim and because it can help facilitate a normalization of Iran's international relations," Fabius said.

He told the newspaper Le Monde that the deal will be endorsed by the UN Security Council in a matter of days.

"It will be done very quickly," Fabius told reporters, adding that the permanent members of the UN Security Council had co-signed a letter on Tuesday to pass the deal to the council for a vote.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed it as “an important success” of international diplomacy, and Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel also plans to visit Iran soon, AP reported.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticized Israel's opposition to the nuclear accord, saying the agreement will help contribute to security in the Middle East.

"This is a responsible deal and Israel should also take a closer look at it and not criticize the agreement in a very coarse way," Steinmeier told German broadcaster ARD in an interview on Wednesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the deal as a "stunning, historic mistake."

Steinmeier also said on Tuesday he was planning to visit Iran.

"I will certainly travel to Iran, but I don't have concrete travel plans yet."

Russia's President Vladimir Putin said the six powers made a firm choice in favor of stability and cooperation.

"We are sure that the world today breathed a sigh of relief," he said.  "Despite attempts to justify scenarios based on force, the negotiators have made a firm choice in favor of stability and cooperation."

"Russia welcomes the decision reached today in Vienna on settling the situation around Iran's nuclear program and the approvals of the P5+1 group and Iran on their overall action plan," Sputnik quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

Putin added that the deal will help Russian-Iranian civilian nuclear cooperation and will contribute to combating terrorism in the Middle East.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the deal removes "artificial" barriers toward forming a "broad coalition" to fight the so-called Islamic State terrorist group.

Ruler of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a note of congratulations on the deal to President Hassan Rouhani. Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, hoped the deal would help "direct all efforts for the development" of the region.

Spain, which presides over the UN Iran Sanctions Committee, said it would ensure the proper implementation of the agreement and hoped it would facilitate Iran’s reintegration into the international community.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a telegram congratulating the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the accord, called it "a major turning point" in the history of Iran and the world. "We are confident that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support, with greater drive, just causes of nations and work for peace and stability in the region and the world," Assad said.

In a separate message to Rouhani, Assad said the coming days would see momentum in the "constructive role" played by Iran in supporting "the rights of people."

In Iraq, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said the agreement should "be implemented for the region to reach stability" and veteran politician Hoshiyar Zebari, who has held ministerial office for about 12 years, said Baghdad had pushed hard for the accord which he said would have a positive impact.

"Any reduction of tension between Iran and the West, between Iran and the United States, would help the region," Zebari told Reuters.

"We have a vested interest in this deal because we believe it will reduce tensions. Basically we don't want Iraq to be a score-settling ground between the United States and Iran," he added.  

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said transparent implementation of the deal would now be key and that the easing of sanctions would be of economic benefit to Ankara, which is one of Tehran’s major trading partners.

"Pakistan welcomes the nuclear agreement," Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said in a statement. "As a neighboring country, we have reiterated that reciprocal confidence-building measures relating to Iran's nuclear program augur well for peace and security in our region."

Afghanistan said it welcomed efforts aimed at "strengthening of peace and stability in the region."