Iranians celebrate framework agreement

Iranians celebrate on a street in northern Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 3, 2015, after Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland. (AP)

A crowd of well-wishers hailed Iranian negotiators Friday as they returned to Tehran after agreeing the framework of a potentially historic nuclear deal with world powers, AFP reported citing Iranian news agencies.

Several dozen people greeted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his team as they left Tehran’s Mehr Abad airport after returning from the negotiations in Lausanne, the ISNA news agency reported.

“Viva Zarif! Viva Araghchi!” the crowd chanted, in reference to the minister and top negotiator Abbas Araghchi.

In brief remarks at the airport, Zarif praised Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for “his remarkable support for the negotiating team and his guidance” in the talks, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Reaching out to Iranian hardliners who have opposed any deal that would curb Tehran’s nuclear activities, Zarif said work remained to finalize the agreement before a June 30 deadline.

“This set of solutions will be the basis for writing a final document,” he said in the airport.

Residents lined the streets as Zarif drove away from the airport, many carrying Iranian flags, with the minister emerging from the sunroof of his car and waving to the crowd.

Celebrations

Hundreds of Iranians poured onto the streets in the capital Tehran early Friday to celebrate the landmark agreement.  Val-e-Asr Avenue, Tehran’s longest street, was lined with cars as drivers sounded their horns and flashed victory signs from open windows. Others were seen clapping and dancing while waving white handkerchiefs in a traditional Iranian celebration - all in approval of the framework nuclear agreement.

"Now we will be able to live normally like the rest of the world," Behrang Alavi, one of the celebrators, told AFP.

"Whatever the final result of the negotiations, we are winners,” Alavi said.

Iranians celebrate on a street in northern Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 3, 2015, after Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland. (AP)

Iranians celebrate on a street in northern Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 3, 2015, after Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland. (AP)

The preliminary agreement could place limits on Iran’s nuclear program, but more importantly for Iranians, it would also pave the way for a reduction, and perhaps elimination, of years of international economic sanctions imposed on the country.

Social media was also abuzz with celebratory comments, pictures and videos as Iranians shared the news following the announcement by Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that key parameters of the framework for a deal had been agreed with the West, paving the way for a final deal by June 30.

Iranians have been following the developments on their televisions for days, eager for news on a potential agreement.

Iran's state television broadcast U.S. President Barack Obama's speech live - an unprecedented move.

President Obama welcomed the "historic understanding" with the Islamic Republic but cautioned that more work needed to be done before a deal can be sealed.

 The framework agreement is likely to boost Iranian President Hassan Rowhani's popularity among the millions of young Iranians who voted for him in 2013.

So far, there has been no overt criticism of the framework agreement by President Rowhani's hardline critics.

 [With AFP and Reuters]

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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