In the rare Sunday address, President Obama said the Iran nuclear deal paved the way for the release of other diplomatic breakthroughs, including the release of several Americans held prisoner in Iran and a longstanding dispute between the two countries in global court.
Crippling economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted as the United Nations confirms Tehran has drastically scaled down its nuclear programme. The U.S. also believes there was a November missile test.
The brother of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian says his release by Iran has brought “indescribable relief and joy to our family”.
Many foreign companies will remain wary of investing in Iran because of concern that the sanctions could “snap back” if Tehran is later found not to be complying with the nuclear agreement.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed Iran’s compliance to the agreement.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday said the “implementation day” of the Iranian nuclear deal is “worth celebrating” for the Iranian people and has a “demonstrative effect” while the worldwide nuclear non-proliferation regime is facing test.
“Amir, I can not wait to meet you for the first time, give you a big hug and welcome you home”, said Kildee, who has continuously pushed Congress, the White House and others to work toward Hekmati’s release.
America’s thaw with Iran is viewed with deep suspicion by U.S. Republicans as well as allies of Washington in the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Whether or not Iran’s investment-starved oil industry can open the taps that quickly is an open question.
The seven Iranians – six of whom are dual citizens – were either accused or convicted of violating USA sanctions. Most U.N. sanctions also automatically ended. A poll conducted last year by IranPoll.com and the University of Maryland found that 62% of Iranians expected to see a tangible improvement in living standards within a year of the deal.
Already Saudi Arabia and Iran, fighting a proxy war in Yemen and key players in the Syrian conflict, are at daggers drawn following Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric in early January and the subsequent ransacking of the Saudi embassy in Tehran.
That, along with the sectarian strife rippling through the region, has prompted Israel to request a boost in USA defense aid to as much as $5 billion annually when the current package worth an average of $3 billion expires next year.
“Under the nuclear deal”, Obama said, “Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb”. France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen has been trying to negotiate a return to manufacturing in Iran, from which it withdrew in 2011; Renault has also been looking at such a deal.
Netanyahu said Israel will continue to monitor Iran’s agreements “on nuclear, on ballistic missiles and on terrorism” for potential violations.
As a result, the European Union and United Nations lifted their sanctions against Iran, while Barack Obama announced that the United States would be suspending its own nuclear-related sanctions.