Iran Says Deal Ends ‘Manufactured Crisis’

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is also Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, right, and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, leave their press briefing at the Mehrabad Airport, Tehran, Iran, Wednesday

Tehran (AFP) – A deal with world powers ended a “manufactured crisis” over Iran’s nuclear programme, its foreign minister said Wednesday after negotiating the accord which drew furious objections from neo-cons in Washington besides Israel and Saudi Arabia.

President Barack Obama faced a bruising battle to sell the deal in Washington to his opponents in the Congress and Jewish and Arab allies in the Middle East.

In return for curbs on its atomic programme for at least 10 years, Iran will be freed from Western and UN sanctions that have hampered its growth.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who led Iran’s negotiating team in the 18 straight days of talks that culminated in Tuesday’s deal, said on his return home that common ground had been found with the six powers led by the United States.

“We will take measures and they will do their part,” he told reporters at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport.

“It will happen in around four months from now,” he said of the formal implementation of the deal.

Zarif’s comments came after a night of celebrations in Tehran where his own name was chanted in the streets by joyous Iranians.

Many festooned their cars with balloons and danced on the street to celebrate what many here see as major diplomatic triumph after decades of imposed wars and economic sanctions.

“Maybe the economy is going to change, especially for the young people. I was thinking about leaving, but now I will stay to see what happens,” said Giti, 42, a computer programmer.

The sentiment was shared by most Iranian newspapers.

Financial daily Donyaye Eqtesad said Iran had “entered the post-sanctions age.” “Iran Siege Broken,” headlined the moderate daily Qanoon.

– Obama faces hard sell –

In Washington, however, the nuclear deal came under intense scrutiny.

The speaker of the Republican-led US House of Representatives, John Boehner, said it was “likely to fuel a nuclear arms race around the world”.

Israeli Prime Minister, who lobbied unceasingly against a deal, has called it a “stunning historic mistake” and warned that his country would not be bound by it. Netanyahu strongly hinted that Israeli military action to destroy Tehran’s nuclear program remains an option.

Zarif hit back at Israeli Prime Minister who heads the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear state.

“Netanyahu kicked up a fuss as he is upset that Iran managed to get sanctions lifted and prevent a manufactured crisis,” Zarif said.

Iran has always denied seeking an atomic bomb and that stance was reiterated by President Hassan Rouhani after Tuesday’s agreement.

 Overcoming decades of hostility, Iran, the United States, and five other world powers struck a historic accord Tuesday that could give Iran access to billions in frozen assets and oil revenue, stave off more U.S. military action in the Middle East and reshape the tumultuous region.

Under terms of the deal, the culmination of 20 months of arduous diplomacy International inspectors can now press for visits to Iran’s military facilities, though access is not guaranteed. Centrifuges will keep spinning, though in lesser quantities, and uranium can still be enriched, though at lower levels.

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