Joy in Iran as Nuclear Deal Spells End to Sanctions

14-Jul-2015

Iranians reacted with delight and relief at news of a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that will end years of bruising economic sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani called the pact a “new chapter” for his country.

“We were never after charity but we were after a fair exchange through talks,” Rouhani said in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday. “None of the sanctions were successful but they had an impact on people’s lives.”

The accord reached overnight in Vienna will curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for a gradual lifting of restrictions that slashed oil exports in half and cut the country off from global finance. While full implementation may take months, the oil-rich nation will be able to increase energy exports, lure global investors and stimulate an economy estimated to be 15 to 20 percent smaller than it would have been without sanctions.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ultimate authority, had given crucial backing to the nuclear diplomacy while occasionally issuing warnings over the threat of American imperialism and restating “red lines” his nation wouldn’t cross to win a deal.
Conservative hardliners are more opposed to Rouhani’s engagement with the U.S., a longtime foe, arguing he is risking the country’s sovereignty and ceding too much ground. The deal reached will also meet resistance in the U.S. Congress, where lawmakers have 60 days to review the document. (by Golnar Motevalli and Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg)