Most Iranian papers hail nuclear deal, some focus on hurdles ahead

Most Iranian newspapers on Monday hailed the historic deal with major powers over Iran’s disputed nuclear drive

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Most Iranian newspapers on Monday hailed the historic deal with major powers over Iran’s disputed nuclear drive, attributing the relatively swift success to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Several conservative outlets however focused on the hurdles in implementing the accord reached Sunday, saying the United States is “untrustworthy.”

The deal clinched in Geneva eases economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for steps to curb its contested nuclear program.

“Overcoming the 10-year crisis in 100 days,” read the government-run Iran newspaper’s headline, referring to the decade-old impasse bridged in the period since President Hassan Rowhani’s cabinet was formed in August.

The pro-reform Arman daily said, “Zarif must be given a gold medal,” while Aftab ran a full-page photo of Iran’s foreign minister with the headline: “Smiling diplomat, we thank you.”

“This is Iran; Everyone is happy,” the reformist Etemad said in a report from the streets of cities across the country as well as social networks, while highlighting that many people had stayed awake through the night into Sunday morning to hear the good news.

The Haft-e Sobh daily said Zarif, Iran’s negotiator-in-chief, had become a champion online, with his Facebook post informing his nearly 700,000 followers that a deal had been struck receiving some 165,000 likes.

The reformist Shargh too hailed the deal.

“The sanctions regime has begun to shatter,” its headline read, repeating a line by Rowhani and referring to a vast array of punitive measures adopted by the United States and the European Union against Tehran.

Among nearly two dozen main outlets, conservative Kayhan and Vatan-e Emrooz papers adopted a more critical tone.

Kayhan said the agreement had already been violated by “untrustworthy” Washington, pointing to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that nowhere in the deal is Iran’s so-called right to enrichment recognised.

It also echoed remarks by Iran’s top decision-maker, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in thanking the nuclear negotiators for not bowing to “the excessive demands” of Western powers.

Vatan-e Emrooz’s headline meanwhile read: “Zarif insists, Kerry denies” - in reference to whether Iran’s right to enrichment was enshrined in the accord.

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