After prolonged talks, the P5+1 group (U.S., Russia, China, U.K., France and Germany) and Iran agreed Thursday on a "historical" framework agreement for Iran's nuclear program.
"Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," the White House warns. But the main points of the preliminary deal are clear: preventing Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifted international economic sanctions, if Iran "abides by its commitments." In a speech from the White House Thursday, President Barack Obama insisted Iran's nuclear program would be subject to the strictest controls.
Iranian diplomats and President Hassan Rouhani were the first Iranian officials to express their satisfaction on April 2.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) April 2, 2015
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the preliminary deal meant an end to "nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions."
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 2, 2015
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described the deal as a "solid foundation" for the more comprehensive nuclear agreement that is to be reached by 30 June.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) April 2, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, strongly condemned the deal.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel.— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) April 2, 2015
Prime Minister Netanyahu: Such a deal would not block Iran's path to the bomb. It would pave it.— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) April 2, 2015
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said this "interim agreement is made up of indisputable, positive developments, but there is still work to do."
— Laurent Fabius (@LaurentFabius) April 2, 2015
The semi-official ISNA agency also reported that Tehran residents, both Iranian and Western, took to the streets to celebrate the deal, including outside the foreign ministry.
— Hadi Nili (@HadiNili) April 2, 2015
Celebrating in Tehran — Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/ZUMA
A man holds up a U.S. dollar in Tehran after the deal was announced Thursday — Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/ZUMA
An Iranian couple does the victory sign in the streets of Tehran Thursday — Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/ZUMA
Iranian state television's surprising decision to broadcast President Obama's speech on the deal prompted many Iranians to take selfies in front of their screens.
— hossein (@hossein13722) April 2, 2015
Iranians may not like their government regime but alleviating economic pressures could not just ease the daily lives of millions in Iran, but also open the way for future social and political developments there. Mohammad Damadi, a parliament member for Sari in northern Iran, said "the entire nation" wanted an end to sanctions, and he expressed hope that Iranians could expect "good days."
Masud Nikkhah, an Iranian writing on Twitter, said that a written deal was not as important as the "breaking of the international consensus" against Iran. He warned, however, that very soon Iranians could expect "domestic snakes to start hissing," referring to conservative opponents of talks and of the Rouhani presidency.
Among Iranian politicians, one former deputy foreign minister, conservative Alaeddin Borujerdi, said the deal vindicated Iranian positions and confirmed its importance, striking a cautious tone typical of conservatives when it comes to deals with the West. Parliament member Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh called the deal a defeat for Israel and "extremists inside the U.S.," though he was one of several lawmakers who observed that no final deal was binding until ratified by parliament.
The effects of the deal on Iran's economy will likely reveal themselves in time. Oil prices were reported to have fallen in its immediate aftermath — and Iran depends on oil sales for most of its revenues — but the country has often stated it must diversify its economy. Time will tell whether it will be oil and gas, or investments, cheaper trade and revamped production that will fuel Iranian prosperity in the future.
The global press also reacted to the Iranian nuclear deal on its front pages Friday: