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‘Iran nuclear deal sealed yet not a time to celebrate’

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Beijing: The Tehran nuclear deal has finally been sealed, yet this is “not a time to celebrate as Iran and the international community should get ready for even tougher tasks to ensure the hard-earned agreement will not die halfway”, China’s official news agency Xinhua has said.

A commentary “Tougher work needs to be done to ensure Iran nuclear deal not half-baked” which ran on Wednesday, a day after the Iran nuclear deal took place, said: “After more than a decade of on-and-off talks, a long-anticipated Iranian nuclear deal has finally come into shape.”

“Yet this is not a time to celebrate as Iran and the international community should get ready for even tougher tasks to ensure the hard-earned agreement will not die halfway,” said the commentary by Xinhua Writer Liu Chang.

It said that Tuesday’s comprehensive deal has demonstrated a strong political will and flexibility of all negotiating parties — Iran on the one hand and the group comprising Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany on the other.

“If the deal could be effectively and loyally implemented, it could go down into the human history as an exceptionally successful example of solving one of the world’s thorniest issues by peaceful and diplomatic means,” it added.

Secretary of State John Kerry after a news conference on Iran nuclear talks in Vienna.
Secretary of State John Kerry after a news conference on Iran nuclear talks in Vienna.

The commentary noted that the international community should stay “sober-minded as the road leading up to an out-and-out settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue is no less challenging than the strenuous negotiating process”.

The first test is whether US President Barack Obama can sell it to a sceptical and uncooperative Republican-controlled Congress when his presidency is already in the countdown and a new cycle of partisan politicking has been well under way.

“One of the key reasons that could motivate the US government to backtrack on the nuclear deal in the future is Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel.”

The commentary went on to say that “what is more vexatious is that Israel, which regards Iran as its arch-foe in the Middle East, does not just curse the deal all the time, but is likely to use every opportunity to sabotage it”.

“However, Israel has to understand that no deal could be perfect. It also has to know that an Iranian nuclear program that operates under verifiable international scrutiny is far better for Israel’s national interests than leaving Tehran’s nuclear activities unregulated or, like what it has suggested, simply resorting to military options to neutralize Iran’s nuclear abilities.”

Xinhua said that Iran also has a lot of “heavy-lifting and political balance to do”.

“With the economic and trade sanctions poised to be removed under the deal, President Hassan Rouhani and his government could begin to rebuild the country’s depressed economy.

“But in Tehran, hardliners are not that easy to be convinced as the Islamic Republic has deep distrust toward Western powers, especially the United States, after decades of confrontation and mutual hostility.”

The commentary said that to help make sure that Iran follows through on the deal, members of the international community, particularly the US and its Western allies, “should make immediate efforts to eliminate suspicion and mistrust toward the country, with the first priority to lay the ground for easing sanctions. Of course, Tehran should also keep its words regarding the accord”.

(IANS)

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Merkel Told Putin, US Complicated Middle East Situation

"But if you want to solve problems, you have to talk to each other," Merkel was quoted as saying.

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in a bid to inform Merkel's and Macron's respective meetings with US President Donald Trump in Washington this week, German federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said Sunday, reported Xinhua news agency.
Angela Merkel, wikimedia commons

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Middle East situation had been complicated by the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

According to a statement issued by the German government, Merkel made the remarks on Friday during her meeting with Putin in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi, Xinhua news agency reported.

Merkel told Putin that Germany, like the rest of Europe, did not want to leave the agreement and wanted to continue to support it. With regard to the Iranian nuclear programme, the agreement gives “more security, more control and, above all, more transparency”.

But there are also topics “that have to be talked about with Iran”, Merkel said, referring to the concerns of the Iranian ballistic missile program, and the question of how to proceed after the expiration of each element of the nuclear agreement.

Merkel
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, wikimedia commons

Merkel stressed after her talks with Putin how important it was to have an open exchange of ideas, especially if the two countries have different views, adding that the German-Russian cooperation had endured serious differences.

“But if you want to solve problems, you have to talk to each other,” Merkel was quoted as saying.

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With regard to the situation in Ukraine, Merkel said the Minsk accord was the “only basis” to achieve peace in east Ukraine, and agreed with Putin that it was important to station a UN peacekeeping troop in the area.

With regard to Syria, Merkel said that Germany would continue to support UN’s mediation efforts with full force, saying it was important the already-agreed upon process of constitutional reform really got going. (IANS)