World leaders hail prospect of normalization with Iran
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World leaders hail prospect of normalization with Iran

UN's Ban praises 'courage' of 'historic' deal's signatories; Putin says world has breathed 'a sigh of relief'

US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, center, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, leave the stage after a group picture at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria Tuesday July 14, 2015.  (Carlos Barria, Pool Photo via AP)
US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, center, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, leave the stage after a group picture at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria Tuesday July 14, 2015. (Carlos Barria, Pool Photo via AP)

World leaders hailed the nuclear accord signed Tuesday between Iran and major powers with the intention of curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, after 18 days of intense negotiations in Vienna.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the “historic” agreement, 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,” he added.

UN Secretary General- Ban Ki-moon on July 13, 2015 (Tony Karumba/AFP)
UN Secretary General- Ban Ki-moon on July 13, 2015 (Tony Karumba/AFP)

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.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the deal with Iran brought the world “a sigh of relief.”

In a statement published on the Kremlin website, Putin said that “Russia will do its utmost to make sure that the Vienna agreement is fully implemented, thus contributing to the international and regional security.”

Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, described the deal as historic, saying it “secures our fundamental aim — to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon — and that will help to make our world a safer place.”

He said the deal required leadership, courage and determination and that it was time to move forward and put it into place.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on June 26, 2015 (Alain Jocard/AFP)
British Prime Minister David Cameron on June 26, 2015 (Alain Jocard/AFP)

Cameron said Iran will reap economic benefits, so long as it delivers on everything it has agreed to do.

French President Francois Hollande called on Iran for help in ending the Syrian conflict during a Bastille Day speech in which he praised the landmark agreement.

Hollande said the deal shows the “world is moving forward” and that “Iran must show that it is ready to help us end the (Syrian) conflict.”

But Hollande also said that world powers must carefully watch how Iran uses the billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions it gets in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.

“Now Iran has a bigger financial capacity, we need to be extremely vigilant on what Iran will be,” Hollande added in the televised speech.

Meanwhile, France’s foreign minister said the agreement could “normalize” Tehran’s international relations and even help resolve certain crises in the Middle East.

“This is an historic deal in its aim and because it can help facilitate a normalization of Iran’s international relations,” Laurent Fabius said, adding that he hoped it would “help a certain number of crises in which it (Iran) is directly or indirectly involved be resolved more easily.”

Overview of a last plenary session of the talks on the Iranian nuclear program that is being held at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)
Overview of a last plenary session of the talks on the Iranian nuclear program that is being held at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)

Congratulating Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Syria’s President Bashar Assad said the signing of a nuclear agreement is “a historic turning point” in the history of Iran and its relationship with countries of the region and beyond.

Assad said the coming days will witness a “strengthening of the constructive role played by Iran in supporting the rights of nations.”

Iran is a key supporter of Assad. It has poured in millions of dollars’ worth of help to prop up Assad’s army in recent years as it fights an insurgency and rebels seeking to topple his rule.

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