London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The announcement of the nuclear deal agreement in Geneva on Sunday between Tehran and the P5+1 group was welcomed across the country. Iranians view the long-awaited deal as an important breakthrough and a sign of better things to come following pervasive international sanctions imposed on the Iranian economy since 2008.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared on state TV to congratulate the people of Iran on the Geneva agreement and promise the comprehensive lifting of sanctions in the near future.
He also sent a letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thanking him for his support for the Iranian negotiating delegation.
Khamenei swiftly replied to Rouhani’s letter, expressing his approval of the nuclear deal but reminding the government that they should stand firm against arrogant demands. Khamenei’s short statement confirmed that Sunday’s nuclear agreement should serve as the basis for “further intelligence actions” in the future.
For his part, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council, also praised the deal. He said: “Ayatollah Khamenei’s appreciation of the efforts made by the government should be seen as the concluding remarks approving the Rouhani government’s approach to reaching a diplomatic deal that leaves no space for any doubts”.
Ali Naghi Seyed Khamooshi, former presdent of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, informed IRNA that the US government had unfrozen USD 8 billion of Iranian assets.
“Today’s agreement re-connects Iran’s economy to the world”, Khamooshi said.
On Sunday morning the value of the US dollar against the Iranian Rial dropped while Gold price also declined considerably.
Iranians from all walks of life expressed joy at the announcement of the deal, with the lifting of international sanctions on Iran expected to strongly boost Iran’s flagging economy.
In remarks broadcast in the early hours of Sunday morning, Rouhani confirmed that his government had managed to reach an agreement on the nuclear issue on his 99th day in power. He added that it is now the turn of Iran’s entrepreneurs and investors to do their bit to improve the country’s economy and the Iranian people’s quality of life.
In parliament however, some hard-line MPs loudly protested against the nuclear agreement, calling on Rouhani to obey Article 125 of the Iranian constitution which stipulates that all international treaties signed by the government should be approved by parliament.
MP Hamid Rasaie protested against the agreement to acting parliamentary speaker Ali Akbar Torabi after Torabi issued a statement welcoming the news of a nuclear deal in Geneva.
Rasaie asked the acting speaker: “When parliament has not been properly briefed and does not know the details of the agreement and also contradictory comments are heard from Iranian and American diplomats regarding Iran’s right to enrichment…what is the relevance of congratulation?”
Responding to calls that the Geneva nuclear deal pass through Iran’s parliament, government sources clarified that the nuclear deal is an agreement, not an international treaty, and so does not fall under the purview of Article 125.
Davoud Hermidas-Bavand, a well-known Iranian political commentator, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that this deal was reached at a time when Iran is facing critical economic constrains.
He noted that the international community had been determined to isolate Iran if Tehran failed to enter diplomatic negations.
“If we did not enter diplomatic negotiations we would have faced severe repercussions,” Hermidas-Bavand said.
The well-respected Iranian political analyst also warned against the domestic and external radicals who oppose the deal, branding those at home who oppose the nuclear deal as lacking international perspective.
“The most important factor is that both the president and the supreme leader are supporting the diplomatic path,” he said.