Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (from L to R) pose for a group picture in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015. (Photo: Xinhua/Qian Yi)
Iran and six world major countries on Tuesday adopted an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue that will put Iran on the path of sanctions relief but more strict limits on its nuclear program.
"What we are announcing today is not just a deal, it is a good deal ... today is a historic day," European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The nuclear deal reached with the six world major countries will help build confidence, Zarif said, adding that the deal is not a ceiling but a solid foundation. "We must now begin to build on it."
"Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful," the two diplomats said, adding that "Iran confirms that Iran under no circumstances will seek or acquire nuclear weapons."
The comprehensive agreement was clinched between Iran and the P5+1 group, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany, after more than two weeks of tough bargaining in the capital city of Austria.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the agreed Iranian nuclear deal is a good deal to bar Iran from abstaining a nuclear weapon.
"This is the good deal that we have sought," Kerry noted, saying the deal would secure that Tehran would not obtain a nuclear weapon under international monitor regime.
The text of the deal is around 100 pages with five annexes, which specify key areas of the Iranian nuclear issue, including sanctions relief and action plan, nuclear technology cooperation, the committee of the monitoring of the implementation, capping of Iran's nuclear capacity, and draft of UN Security Council resolution.
Iran and UN nuclear agency IAEA has agreed to cooperate to resolve Tehran's past suspicious nuclear activities including the Parchin issue, a suspicious military site of Iran, the agency said by an email on Tuesday.
Under the road-map, Iran would address the IAEA's concern over the so-called possible military dimensions of its nuclear plan, including the resolution of the Parchin issue, a military site at which IAEA suspected Iran might carried out explosive test relevant to the nuclear weapon plan.
There is much criticism in the United States accusing Kerry and his team of backing off from U.S. interest at the negotiation table, saying the deal would not permanently block Iran's path to a nuclear bomb.
U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday urged the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to ratify the deal.
"I believe it would be irresponsible to walk away from the deal, but on such a tough issue, it is important that the American people and the representatives in Congress get a full opportunity to review the deal," Obama said in an early-morning address at the White House.
The U.S. Congress has 60 days to review and vote on the Iran nuclear agreement.
However, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday the nuclear deal will "embolden" Iran and trigger "an atomic arms race."
Israel openly condemned the agreement as a bad deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons," saying the agreement is a mistake of historic proportions.
The comprehensive Iranian nuclear deal is to be presented to the UN Security Council in the next few days, announced Mogherini on behalf of the P5+1 group.
Sanctions imposed by the UN and the western countries on Iran over its nuclear issue have hit the country's economy and have negative impacts on Iranian people's lives.
None of the sanctions relief measures will take immediate effect, but will be conditional on the IAEA verifying that Iran has carried out all its promised steps.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in his remarks after the deal was agreed that the deal heralds a new era of cooperation with the world.
"We do not seek WMDs (Weapon of mass destructions), nor exert pressure on regional states. We call for greater brotherhood, unity and further expansion of ties," he said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the agreement is just a start, there would be a ten-year process of implementation of the deal, all sides should build and consolidate the trust, which is the basis of the implementation.
Russia views the deal as a "positive step" that would bring greater stability to the Middle East, and promised it would do "everything in its power" to enforce the agreement.
"We are certain that the world heaved a sigh of relief today," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement.