How the world reacted to Iran sanctions lifting

Lifting sanctions will allow Iran to immediately recoup some $100 billion in assets frozen overseas. (Reuters)

Here’s how Iran and world powers reacted to the implementation of a deal reached last year to curb Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Removing the sanctions is part of the international agreement reached last year among Iran, the U.S., and five other world powers when Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Lifting sanctions will allow Iran to immediately recoup some $100 billion in assets frozen overseas. Iran will also see huge benefits from new oil, trade and financial opportunities.

Global reactions

Iran's President Hassan Rowhani said the implementation of the nuclear deal with world powers was a "glorious victory" for the "patient nation of Iran."

In comments posted on his official Twitter account, he wrote: "I thank God for this blessing & bow to the greatness of the patient nation of Iran. Congrats on this glorious victory!"

Only last week he said Iranians should look forward to a "year of prosperity" after sanctions are lifted.

"The government is running the country under sanctions not under normal circumstances. God willing, in the coming days we will witness a rolling up of the sanctions scroll in this country," he said.

On the back of the nuclear deal, Rowhani wants to make greater inroads in domestic policy, with even modest social and political reforms in the Islamic republic.

But he has faced criticism from hardline groups about the nuclear accord, with opponents warning it could lead to "infiltration" by the United States in Iran's economy and other arenas.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the threat of a nuclear weapon has been reduced as he announces the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

Speaking in Vienna, Kerry tells reporters that the United States is lifting nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, a step that he says will expand the horizon of opportunity for the Iranian people.

Kerry says the steps Iran has taken have fundamentally altered Iran's nuclear program. He says the agreement, reached last July, is a reminder "once again of diplomacy's power to tackle significant challenges."


• The United Nations secretary-general is welcoming implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers as "a significant milestone." Ban Ki-moon says the U.N. nuclear agency's certification Saturday that Iran has met all of its commitments under last summer's landmark nuclear deal "reflects the good faith effort by all parties to fulfil their agreed commitments." That's according to his spokesman in a statement.

The statement says the achievement shows that dialogue and patient diplomacy are the best way to address worries about weapons proliferation.

And Ban expresses the hope that the agreement will contribute to greater cooperation for peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.

• Multinational and national nuclear-related sanctions on Iran are lifted following Tehran's compliance with July's atomic deal with major powers, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Saturday.

"As Iran has fulfilled its commitments, today, multilateral and national economic and financial sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program are lifted in accordance" with the July deal, Mogherini said in Vienna.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond hailed Saturday's implementation of the nuclear agreement between Iran and global powers as an "important landmark" that made the "world a safer place".

"The nuclear deal with Iran, in which Britain played a major role, makes the Middle East and the wider world a safer place", the British minister said in a statement.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the implementation of the deal marks "a historic success for diplomacy

"The Iranian nuclear programme will now for many years be subjected to strict technical restrictions and close monitoring," said Steinmeier, whose country was among the six world powers that negotiated the landmark deal with Tehran.

The diplomatic victory allows for the hope that "we may yet succeed in defusing other urgent crises and conflicts in the region, especially regarding the civil war in Syria," he said in a statement.

"It won't happen overnight and it won't be easy, but neither were the nuclear negotiations with Iran."

France "welcomed the start of the implementation of the nuclear agreement with Iran", Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, adding that he hoped for the same "spirit of cooperation" with Tehran in other regional issues.

"This is an important step for peace and security," he said in a statement. "At a time when the region is seeing immense challenges and strong tensions, I hope that the spirit of cooperation that marked the conclusion of the deal can also be brought to all the other regional issues."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn't joining the chorus of congratulations over the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal. Far from it.

Netanyahu's office says in a statement that Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions and is a destabilizing force in the Middle East, as well as a supporter of terrorism. The statement urges world powers to monitor Iran closely and respond harshly to any violation of its obligations. And the statement vows Israel "will do everything necessary to protect its security and defend itself."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is expressing relief over the return of Americans being held prisoner in Iran. But she says Iran shouldn't be thanked for freeing them because they were being held unjustly.

Clinton also says that Iran shouldn't be thanked for following through on its obligations now that the nuclear agreement with the U.S. and other world powers is being fully implemented.

In a statement issued Saturday in New York, Clinton warns against taking eyes off the ball concerning Iran. She says that as president her approach would be to "distrust and verify" while vigorously enforcing the nuclear deal.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan vigorously denounced the nuclear deal with Iran that was implemented Saturday, vowing U.S. lawmakers would "do everything possible" to prevent Tehran from getting the atomic bomb.

"Today, the Obama administration will begin lifting economic sanctions on the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism," Ryan said in a statement.

"A bipartisan majority in the House voted to reject this deal in the first place, and we will continue to do everything possible to prevent a nuclear Iran."
 

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Last Update: Sunday, 17 January 2016 KSA 07:49 - GMT 04:49
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