Obama Lauds 'Good Deal' on Iran's Nuclear Program

U.S. president says that agreement, if fully implemented, will stop Iran getting nukes; French FM Fabius says 'there is still work to do.'

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U.S. President Bararck Obama makes a statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2015 after a deal was reached on Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. President Bararck Obama makes a statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2015 after a deal was reached on Iran's nuclear program.Credit: AFP

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday said a framework agreement reached at talks on Iran's nuclear program is "a good deal" that would, if fully implemented, prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

"Today, the United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached an historic understanding with Iran, which if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Obama said in statement at the White House.

"If this framework leads to a final comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies and our world safer," he said.

"It is a good deal," Obama added.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he consulted with Israel and reaffirmed U.S. commitment to its security.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his President Francois Hollande welcomed the "framework" on Thursday but said there was work to do to before there could be an acceptable deal.

"This is a stage agreement that includes some incontestable positive developments but there is still work to do," Fabius said on France 2 television from Lausanne, in Switzerland, where the talks are taking place.

In a statement noting the new deadline of June 30 for a final deal, Hollande added: "France will be watchful, as it always is in step with its partners, to ensure that a credible, verifiable agreement be established under which the international community can be sure Iran will not be in a position to have access to nuclear arms."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that a framework agreement with Iran represented an "important step" towards preventing it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

"We are closer than ever to an agreement that makes it impossible for Iran to possess nuclear weapons," Merkel said in a statement after news of the preliminary deal between world powers and Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Germany's foreign minister said the agreement reached represented a "big, decisive step forward" that could lead to an easing of tensions across the Middle East if a final deal was clinched in over the coming months.

"It is too early to celebrate. Nevertheless, with the framework agreement we have overcome obstacles that stood in the way of a deal for a decade," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement.

"If a final agreement is achieved, it could in my view not only pave the way for a solution to the Iran conflict, but it would be the first and only conflict in the Middle East where we will have achieved a deescalation. It could therefore provide hope for an easing of tensions in the region and between Iran and Arab states," Steinmeier added.

All of Iran's nuclear activities would be subject to the "strictest oversight" by the UN's nuclear watchdog. The agreed regime was "unprecedented in its intensity and duration", the statement said.

If Iran violates the agreed rules, sanctions could be reintroduced immediately, the statement added.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Thursday that the accord struck provides a good basis to reach what could be a "very good" comprehensive deal.

Hammond said a fuller deal that kept to the agreed parameters of the initial agreement would provide reassurance that Tehran's nuclear program was peaceful, but said intensive talks to thrash out the "fine detail" now lay ahead.

"This is well beyond what many of us thought possible even 18 months ago and a good basis for what I believe could be a very good deal," Hammond said in a statement. "But there is still more work to do."

Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the deal in Iran nuclear talks positive for security situation in the Middle East.

Also on Thursday, UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon congratulated Iran and the world powers on agreeing framework for final deal at Iran nuclear talks.

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