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Iran framework agreement triggers caution, condemnation and celebration

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Reaction to the nuclear agreement with Iran poured in from all over the Middle East and across the political spectrum in the United States.

    They were dancing in Tehran's streets into the early morning hours.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    I haven't made any big progress in 10 years. We are very happy that we can finally go forward. It's a real victory for us.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Later, at Friday prayers, with Iran's chief nuclear official on hand, a top cleric lauded the agreement.

  • AYATOLLAH MOHAMMAD EMAMI KASHARI(through interpreter):

    I should really congratulate all the gentlemen who led the nuclear talks. Great job. President of America, and all of you who are on the other side, you have made a deal with Iran, and within the framework of that agreement, Iran will observe all it has committed itself to and will keep its end of the deal.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    That was a possible signal that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and his hard-line cadre will ultimately accept the deal.

    Essentially, the framework calls for curtailing Iran's uranium enrichment capacity for up to 15 years and requiring intensive new inspections, in exchange for sanctions being lifted.

    In a televised address, Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, said his government will do what it promises, but he rejected President Obama's contention that the sanctions forced the issue.

  • PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, Iran (through interpreter):

    They imposed sanctions to make us surrender. But when they realized that surrendering was impossible, and found themselves facing a united, integrated and brave nation, then they said, the sanctions were intended for negotiations.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The Iranian leader also declared the world powers that signed the deal — quote — "accept" that uranium can be enriched in Iran. Still, he said, the program poses no threat.

  • HASSAN ROUHANI (through interpreter):

    We want better relations with countries that we have cold relations with. The enrichment and technology will not be used against any country, no regional country or any in the world.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Those words did nothing to mollify leaders in Jerusalem.

  • BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Prime Minister, Israel:

    The deal would legitimize Iran's illegal nuclear program.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had spoken with President Obama overnight, who sought to reassure him, but to little apparent effect.

  • BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:

    Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period. In addition, Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian commitment of Israel's right to exist.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The White House insisted today the president wouldn't accept an agreement that threatens Israel.

    And State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Mr. Obama is satisfied the administration didn't concede too much.

  • MARIE HARF, State Department Spokeswoman:

    We need to cut off the four pathways for Iran to get to a nuclear weapon, and we need to get Iran from currently two to three months of breakout time, up to six times that, so to a year, at least a year breakout time, under this agreement, and that's what we have done. Our bottom lines here in terms of what we need to get at the negotiating table have never changed.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Other parties to the talks struck notes of caution. The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, insisted a final agreement must ensure there is no Iranian bomb.

  • LAURENT FABIUS, Foreign Minister, France (through interpreter):

    If this agreement is not entirely solid, that would mean that Iran could get a bomb. And this is unacceptable. And if this agreement is not perceived as solid, that means that the countries of the region such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and others could also start thinking of making a bomb, and that would be a nuclear proliferation, dangerous for all.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    There is no specific schedule on resumption of talks, which have a deadline of June 30.

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