World Leaders Reach ‘Historic’ Deal on Iranian Nuclear Program

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Following years of arduous negotiations, and decades of hostile relations, Iran and world powers on Tuesday announced a nuclear agreement that proponents say provides a historic opening for military deescalation, relief from devastating sanctions, and ultimately, peace.

“This deal is a huge victory for diplomacy over war,” Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams. “It prevents the very real threat of war with Iran but also, in the longer term, demonstrates the power and efficacy of diplomacy.”

The accord culminates a marathon session of Vienna negotiations between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the European Union.

The deal was met with praise by numerous heads of state. Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Tuesday that the agreement is proof that “constructive engagement works,” adding that the deal halts “illegal” sanctions.

President Barack Obama praised the agreement and vowed to fight for Congress to pass it: “I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Twitter, “This is the good deal we have sought,” adding it is a step “towards possibility of peace.”

And Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the world has “heaved a sigh of relief.”

Not everyone expressed enthusiasm. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vigorously opposed diplomacy and advocated war with Iran, denounced the agreement as a “historic mistake for the world.”

Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), also did not waste any time in casting doubt on the agreement, declaring: “In the coming days, Congress will need to scrutinize this deal and answer whether implementing the agreement is worth dismantling our painstakingly-constructed sanctions regime that took more than a decade to establish.”

Under the deal, Iran will receive sanctions relief in exchange for limits to its domestic nuclear program.

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