Couldn’t be clearer. “Iran’s top officials hail nuclear deal as beginning of new era,” by Jason Rezaian for the Washington Post, November 24:
TEHRAN “” Iran’s top officials on Sunday welcomed the initial agreement struck with world powers over its nuclear activities, hailing the deal as the beginning of a new era for the Islamic republic, both in its relations with other countries and for its sanctions-ravaged economy.
“Trust is, of course, a two-way street, and we must also find this trust in others. The first step in creating that trust has been taken,” Iran’s new president, the moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani, said in a statement broadcast live on television Sunday morning.
Addressing concerns over the language in the agreement between the six world powers and Iran regarding Tehran’s ability to continue work on its nuclear program, Rouhani said, “Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before.”
Rouhani, who was joined on the broadcast by the families of several Iranian nuclear scientists who were assassinated in recent years, also reiterated what Iran claims is the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
“Let me say once more, the Iranian nation does not want nuclear weapons,” Rouhani said, referring to the accusations that Iran is attempting to build a bomb as “one of those funny jokes of history.”
And everyone is laughing.
A key point for Tehran throughout the negotiations with the group of world powers has been a clear path to reductions in the sanctions that have wrought havoc on Iran’s economy in recent years.
One of the achievements of Sunday”s agreement, according to Rouhani, is that “the sanctions will be broken. The cracks in the sanctions began last night, and in the future those gaps will be grow.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has long doubted the sincerity of Western leaders, expressed guarded approval of the agreement.
Responding to a letter from Rouhani, Khamenei thanked the efforts of Iran’s negotiating team, led by foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, but asked the members to continue their vigilance in dealing with old enemies.
“God willing, standing against the arrogant powers is and will be the main criteria on the path forward for those in charge of this issue,” Khamenei wrote.
While the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to the announcement of the initial agreement in Tehran, some conservative lawmakers are giving signs that they may try to short-circuit any deal.
“Our minister of foreign affairs says something, the U.S. secretary of state says something else, our television and 8 a.m. news are all saying things that are contradictory. We want to help the government, but the Geneva agreement must be ratified by the parliament,” Hamid Rasaei, a cleric and hard-line parliament member, told fellow lawmakers on Sunday….