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'Historic' deal reached on Iran nuclear programme

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'Historic' deal reached on Iran nuclear programme
Photo: DPA
13:02 CEST+02:00
In an "historic agreement" Iran finally reached a deal on Tuesday morning with the United Nations Security Council members plus Germany on restricting its nuclear programme.

The members of the Security Council plus Germany and the EU reached the historic agreement after two weeks of intensive negotiations.

Iran has committed itself to "under no circumstances" building nuclear weapons, while the international community formalized commitments for the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini announced.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he believes that the deal also increases the likelihood that the countries which participated in the talks can work on agreement on other regional conflicts such as the civil war in Syria.

"Perhaps with this agreement, we can send a signal of hope to the forces of chaos," Steinmeier said.

Referring to the day on which the negotiations were originally supposed to take place, Steinemeier said "I said that June 30th would be a long day, I didn't think though that it would last for 348 hours."

"What we are announcing today is not only a deal it is a good deal - a good deal for all sides," Mogherini said at a press conference in Vienna announcing the agreement.

Mogherini started her statement by describing the deal, which was ten years in the making, as "historic."

She said that the commitments were too detailed to be discussed at the press conference but that the full text would be made public in the course of the day.

"This is the conclusion of our negotiations but it is not the end of our common work. We will continue doing this important task together," she added.

The agreement will now have to pass through the US Congress which is widely regarded as being sceptical of rebuilding diplomatic and economic relations with the isolated Islamic republic.

The framework agreement signed in Lausanne in April restricted the number of nuclear centrifuges that Iran can have in operation from 19,000 down to 6,100 and the quantity of enriched uranium in its possession from 10,000 kilograms down to 300 kilograms.

Iran has always insisted that its nuclear programme is purely for civilian purposes.

Meanwhile news of the agreement was met with heavy criticism from the Middle East, particularly Israel and the Gulf states.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayahu described it as paving the way for Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

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