Obama, Rouhani defend Iran nuclear deal

The elite Revolutionary Guards, a powerful political and military force, has started to attack the country’s nuclear deal as endangering Iran’s security and have also hit out at a UN Security Council resolution passed on Monday endorsing it.

In remarks that will be seen as admonishing critics of the accord, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech: “Now they are scrutinising one by one the terms of the deal reached in Vienna and the UN Security Council’s resolution 2231.

“That’s good but what has happened is more valuable and more significant than that,” he told a medical conference in Tehran.

“How can one be an Iranian and not cheer for our negotiating team?” Rouhani added, referring to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, both of whom were present for Rouhani’s speech.

He argued that the deal reflected the nation’s will and suggested that blocking the accord would ignore what the people had asked for when they elected him to office in 2013.

“This is a new page in history. It didn’t happen when we reached the deal in Vienna on July 14, it happened on August 4 2013 when the Iranians elected me as their president.”

Rouhani and US President Barack Obama both have to win support for the nuclear accord from hardliners at home.

In the case of Iran, the deal must get final acceptance from the National Security Council and ultimately from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority. He has withheld final judgment, thanking the negotiators while saying the text must still be scrutinised and approved. 

Republicans steadfast in opposing deal
Meanwhile, Obama’s administration has taken its Iran sales pitch to Capitol Hill, where secretary of state John Kerry, energy secretary Ernest Moniz and treasury secretary Jack Lew sought to persuade skeptical US lawmakers that a nuclear accord agreed to by Tehran and six world powers was the best possible outcome after nearly two years of negotiations.

But there was little indication on Wednesday that the classified briefings had led to any immediate breakthroughs, with most Republicans remaining steadfast in their opposition to the deal and Democrats yet to make up their minds.


Lawmakers who attended the meetings continued to express concerns over the implementation of the agreement – chief among them whether or not Iran would be compliant with its terms – even as they described a projection of absolute confidence on the part of the Obama administration during the discussions.

Obama has already pledged to veto any efforts to scuttle the deal and warned of grave consequences if the US does not hold up its end of the bargain. Support from Democrats will be critical for the president to maintain his veto power, with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress and almost uniformly against the deal from the outset. – Reuters, – © Guardian News & Media 2015.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

Senwes launches Agri Value Chain Food Umbrella

South African farmers can now help to feed the needy by donating part of their bumper maize crop to delivery number 418668

Ethics and internal financial controls add value to the public sector

National treasury is rolling out accounting technician training programmes to upskill those who work in its finance units in public sector accounting principles

Lessons from South Korea for Africa’s development

'Leaders can push people through, through their vision and inspiration, based on their exemplary actions'

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday