UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the ‘historic’ agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, saying it could help bring peace to the Middle East. Ban praised the ‘determination and the commitment’ of the negotiators who hammered out the deal, as well as the ‘courage of the leaders’ who approved it. ‘I hope and indeed believe that this agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East,’ Ban said in a statement. ‘As such, it could serve as a vital contribution to peace and stability both in the region and beyond.’ Ban, who was in Ethiopia for a development financing summit, said the United Nations “stands ready to fully cooperate with the parties in the process of implementing this historic and important agreement.”
‘Iran Will Never Seek a Nuclear Weapon’: Hassan Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani has pledged that Iran “will never seek a nuclear weapon, with or without the implementation” of the deal agreed with world powers in Vienna. Rouhani said live on state television that such weapons were “against our religion” and contradicted a decree from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei barring the pursuit of an atomic bomb.
He reiterated the point later in his speech, promising regional countries suspicious of Iran’s nuclear programme that it has never and will not “seek to pressure” its neighbours.
World breathes ‘huge sigh of relief’ at Iran deal: Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday hailed a deal reached on Iran`s nuclear drive as a “firm choice for stability and cooperation”.
“We are certain that today the world has breathed a huge sigh of relief,” Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin`s website. “Despite attempts to argue in favour of scenarios of force, the participants of the talks made a firm choice for stability and cooperation.” Putin said Moscow would “do everything in its power” to ensure the agreement worked and called on all sides to fulfill their part of the bargain. “We expect that all of the interested parties, primarily the 5+1 countries, will fully adhere to the decisions that have been reached,” Putin said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emerged from talks in Vienna to promise Russia will be “actively participating in the practical steps for the realisations of the agreement.” This includes taking the low-enriched uranium out of Iran and bringing it to Russia, he told journalists.
The deal “without a doubt will play an important role in ensuring non-proliferation in general” as well as “make the situation in the Middle East healthier,” he said. Russia, like China, had argued for a quick lifting of the arms embargo on Iran in the course of the marathon talks, Lavrov said, but in the end supported Tehran`s compromise with Western countries. “There was a compromise reached between Iran and Western colleagues which we supported... five years, but during the five years arms deliveries to Iran would be possible if they clear a notification and verification process in the UN Security Council,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov added that the deal further boosts Russia-Iran business ties, including in the nuclear sphere.
“We have great plans to develop Iran`s nuclear energy,” Lavrov said, referring to Russia`s plans to build more power reactors in the country.