Tehran : Washington and London on Thursday sought to ease concerns over the Iran nuclear accord as the country’s supreme leader warned that major powers are not to be trusted over its implementation.
As part of an international charm offensive, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly opposes the landmark accord stuck on Tuesday in Vienna between Iran and world powers led by Washington.
Netanyahu has condemned it as a ‘historic mistake’ and hinted at a possible military response. In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry was to hold talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, whose government has also been alarmed about the deal with its regional rival. President Barack Obama confronted the critics head-on on Wednesday, saying they were at odds with ‘99 percent’ of the world and had failed to offer any real alternative.
As the freshly-inked deal was put to members of the UN Security Council, a combative Obama said opponents at home and abroad had offered only a path to war. The issue is either resolved “diplomatically, through a negotiation, or it’s resolved through force. Through war. Those are the options.”
Obama’s Republican rivals, who hope to scupper the agreement in a planned Congressional vote, have accused him of appeasement. The president has said he will veto any attempt to block the deal. The agreement, struck after two years of tough negotiations, aims to roll back Iran’s nuclear programme in return for lifting sanctions that have crippled its economy.
Obama also addressed the concerns of Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Gulf states that the accord legitimises what they see as Iranian interference in the oil-rich region. The agreement would not end ‘profound differences’ with the Shiite-majority Islamic republic, he said, stressing that their alliances with Washington would remain unchanged.
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Iran could buy new planes: Rouhani
Tehran: Iran’s president has pointed to another possible windfall from the nuclear deal with world powers his country may soon be able to buy badly needed new planes for its aging fleet. Hassan Rouhani says Iranian negotiators came away from the talks in Vienna with ‘achievements beyond the nuclear’ agreement and succeeded in having ‘aviation sanctions removed.’ His remarks were carried by the official IRNA news agency late Wednesday. Sanctions have prohibited the sale of Western planes and some spare parts to Iran, making it impossible for Iran to buy new planes and difficult to keep the aging Boeings and Airbuses it does use safely flying. The last time Iran bought new aircraft from a Western company was in the early 1990s from the Dutch manufacturer Fokker.