• Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waves to journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg during closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Austria, Monday, July 13, 2015. AP Photo: Ronald Zak

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waves to journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg during closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Austria, Monday, July 13, 2015. AP Photo: Ronald Zak

After hard negotiation, historic Iran nuclear deal reached


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Submitted: Tue, 07/14/2015 - 5:01pm
Updated: Tue, 07/14/2015 - 5:29pm
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By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Here are the latest developments involving an agreement between Iran and world powers in Vienna over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program (all times EDT):

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4:45 p.m.

Saudi Arabia’s state news agency says the kingdom has warned Iran not to use money that will follow from the lifting of sanctions to incite turmoil in the region.

The Saudi Press Agency says Tehran must use the funds in the service of the Iranian people.

The statement cites an unidentified Saudi official as per the kingdom’s regulations. It comes after Iran concluded a deal earlier Tuesday in Vienna with six world powers.

The statement says the kingdom has always stressed the importance of reaching a deal that would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and contain mechanisms for permanent inspections of nuclear sites and for re-imposition of sanctions if Iran violates the terms.

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3:40 p.m.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says the United States will submit a draft resolution to the Security Council “in the coming days” to endorse the Iran nuclear deal and take other important steps.

Samantha Power says these steps include replacing existing Security Council sanctions resolutions with the new restrictions agreed on in the talks. She’s hoping for “timely adoption” of the resolution.

An annex to the agreement on Security Council actions states that provisions on Iran sanctions in seven resolutions dating back to 2006 will be terminated by the deal but subject to re-imposition if Iran doesn’t live up to the terms in significant ways.

The resolution is almost certain to be approved because the deal with Iran involves the five veto-wielding Security Council members – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France – and they have agreed on the text of the draft.

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3:30 p.m.

The wife of an Idaho pastor held prisoner in Iran says she’s deeply disappointed that the U.S. agreed to a nuclear deal with the Mideast nation without first getting her husband released.

Naghmeh Abedini says she met President Barack Obama in January while he was visiting Boise and urged him not to approve the deal without working on securing her husband’s freedom.

Abedini, who lives in Boise with their two children, now says she’s focused on pressing Congress to review the deal with her family in mind.

Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, who’s 34, has been in Iranian custody since September 2012. He was sentenced to eight years for what was termed undermining state security when he attempted to build a church network in private homes. Abedini is of Iranian origin but had been living in Boise.

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3:20 p.m.

The Iran nuclear deal sets up a campaign clash between Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republicans vying for the White House.

Several leading Republican rivals stepped up Tuesday to denounce the agreement. Among them, Jeb Bush called it appeasement. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker both said they’d rescind the deal if elected president.

Clinton, in contrast, has endorsed the agreement and said she’d be committed as president to seeing its terms honored.

Her position underscores the tangled links between President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy and the presidential aspirations of his former secretary of state.

In the 2008 Democratic presidential contest, she called Obama’s offer to meet Iran’s leader without preconditions “irresponsible” and “naive.”

But four years later, as secretary of state, Clinton helped begin the talks with Tehran, sending an adviser to secret meetings with the Iranians that led to the start of the international negotiations.

Now, Democrats in Congress who are skeptical of the nuclear agreement are looking to her for direction.

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2:20 p.m.

Minutes after Iran and world powers announced their deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions, a text message began making the rounds on Iranian mobile phones.

It read: “Goodbye falafel. Hello McDonald’s.”

Another text joked that the country’s ATMs would soon be dispensing U.S. dollars instead of Iranian rials.

There may not be a McDonald’s yet, but ordinary Iranians have been quick to welcome the deal as a chance to end their nation’s isolation and improve Iran’s economy after years of stifling sanctions.

There were no signs of people pouring into the streets of Tehran after the deal was announced, but that may have more to do with the stifling summer heat and the fact that most Iranians are fasting during the last days of Ramadan.

Many instead were glued to television coverage of the deal, which included a rare live feed of President Barack Obama’s address on state TV.

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2 p.m.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the U.S. is prepared to bolster the security of allies in the Middle East, using military means if necessary, to check what he calls Iran’s “malign influence” in the region.

His statement is intended to reassure allies nervous about the landmark deal reached with Iran to control its nuclear program. Israel is strongly opposed to it.

Carter says deterrence remains a major component of America’s national security and the U.S. has tens of thousands of military personnel in the region to defend against any aggression, ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf and make sure Iran’s influence is restricted.

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1:40 p.m.

President Barack Obama has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Iran nuclear deal won’t lessen U.S. concerns about Iran’s support for terrorism and its threats toward Israel.

The White House says Obama spoke Tuesday with the Israeli leader and reiterated that the deal, in his view, will prevent Iran from becoming nuclear-armed, which is of interest to both the U.S. and Israel.

Obama said a planned visit to Israel next week by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is a reflection of the high level of security cooperation between the two allies.

Netanyahu on Tuesday blasted the deal as a “stunning historic mistake” and pointedly noted that his country is not bound by the agreement.

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1:20 p.m.

President Barack Obama has thanked European leaders for their help in reaching the nuclear deal with Iran.

Obama discussed the historic agreement in separate conversations Tuesday with French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

The three countries and the EU are part of the group that negotiated with Iran for nearly two years.

The White House says the leaders agreed the deal represents a historic solution that will verifiably cut off all the pathways Iran has to develop a nuclear weapon.

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12:30 p.m.

World reaction to the Iran nuclear deal is pouring in.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the agreement provides a “realistic chance of overcoming one of the most difficult international conflicts through diplomatic means” and brings much closer the goal of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Germany is a party in the negotiations and its main business lobby is anticipating a surge in exports to Iran as economic sanctions lift.

Egypt’s foreign ministry calls the deal an important development that could lead to regional stability and head off an arms race. Egypt and Iran have not had full diplomatic ties since 1979 when Iran had its Islamic revolution and Cairo signed a peace deal with Israel.

As well, the United Arab Emirates is welcoming the agreement. The seven-state federation has longstanding trade ties with Iran but, along with other Gulf Arab countries, has been deeply skeptical of Iran’s ambitions in the region.

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12:10 p.m.

At the United Nations, the Security Council is preparing a resolution to endorse the deal restricting Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against Tehran.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre says the draft resolution will be presented to the council in coming days.

A senior Security Council diplomat says the U.S. took the lead in drafting the resolution. Asked whether it’s likely to be approved within seven to 10 days, the diplomat says that’s the “right ballpark.”

The diplomat was not authorized to be identified and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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11:50 a.m.

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush calls the Iran nuclear deal “dangerous, deeply flawed and short sighted.”

He says the agreement merely consolidates the grip on power of “violent revolutionary clerics who rule Tehran with an iron fist.”

Bush says the agreement is not diplomacy, but “appeasement.”

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11:40 a.m.

Here’s what’s ahead for the Iran nuclear deal in Washington:

After receiving a copy of the agreement, lawmakers will have 60 days to read it, vote yes or no – or take no action.

They’ll want to know: Does it call for inspections of Iranian nuclear and military sites anytime, anywhere? What sanctions against Iran will be lifted and when? Can sanctions be reinstated if Iran cheats? Did Iran come clean regarding its past nuclear activities? That’s just for starters.

Congressional hearings could start soon but formal action appears unlikely before the August recess.

If Congress rejects the agreement, President Barack Obama is expected to veto that decision. A two-thirds majority in the House and Senate would be needed to override his veto.

Even if Congress votes against the deal, that doesn’t scuttle it.

Congress can only thwart the deal by passing new sanctions legislation or stripping away Obama’s authority to waive those sanctions that were imposed earlier by Congress.

Moreover, Obama could unilaterally offer a hefty portion of sanctions relief on his own. He can’t lift the congressionally mandated sanctions, though. Only Congress can do that.

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11:00 a.m.

Republican presidential contender Chris Christie hopes Congress will reject the Iran nuclear deal.

The New Jersey governor says the deal will lead to a nuclear Iran and Middle East, threatens Israel and the U.S., and “turns 70 years of nuclear policy on its head.”

Earlier, Republican presidential rival Marco Rubio also turned thumbs down on the agreement, saying the U.S. gave “concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.”

Christie says President Barack Obama’s team should have walked away from the talks. Instead, says the governor, Obama is “playing a dangerous game with our national security.”

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10:30 a.m.

The family of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who is believed to be held hostage in Iran, is marking the historic nuclear deal by urging the Obama administration and Iran to continue to press for Levinson’s release.

Levinson’s wife, Christine, said leaders of the two countries “need to continue working together with the same sense of urgency to resolve Bob’s case and return him home to his family as soon as possible.”

Levinson has been held hostage for more than eight years, making him the longest-held American hostage in history. His wife said, “This nightmare must end.”

An Associated Press investigation published in 2013 revealed that Levinson vanished while working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission.

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10:30 a.m.

Israel’s prime minister says his country is not bound by the international nuclear agreement with Iran, and that Israel reserves the right to defend itself.

Benjamin Netanyahu says the world is now a “much more dangerous place” and criticized Tuesday’s agreement as a “stunning historic mistake.”

Speaking in English to reporters in Jerusalem, he said that by removing sanctions, the deal will give Iran billions of dollars to support what he calls a worldwide terrorism network.

He also says it “repeats the mistakes” of an earlier international agreement with North Korea, in which international inspections failed to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

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10:10 a.m.

Ordinary Iranians are welcoming the country’s historic nuclear deal, embracing it as a chance to end their nation’s isolation and an opportunity for a better economy after years of stifling sanctions.

There are no signs of people pouring into the streets of Tehran after the deal was announced on Tuesday – but that may have more to do with the stifling summer heat and the fact that most Iranians are fasting during the last days of Ramadan.

Many instead were glued to television coverage of the deal. At one Tehran electronics shop, people clapped as President Hassan Rouhani appeared on screen to address the nation.

Shopkeeper Ali Hosseini summed up the mood by saying: “I am proud that my country has resolved this critical issue through talks, not war.”

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10:10 a.m.

House Democrats say presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton is backing the negotiated deal with Iran.

Clinton met Tuesday morning behind closed doors with Democrats. Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly said that during the session Clinton endorsed the nuclear pact that ends crippling sanctions.

Said Connolly: “She endorsed it. Full-throated.”

Rep. Steve Israel of New York said Clinton supports the core elements. He said she told lawmakers that Congress has an obligation to review all the details.

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9:55 a.m.

President Barack Obama is starting his campaign to sell the nuclear deal with Iran to skeptical U.S. allies and members of Congress.

Senior Obama administration officials say Obama informed the leaders of the House and Senate of the deal Monday night, and plans to speak with additional members of Congress this week.

Obama will also spend part of the week speaking with his foreign counterparts. Officials say Obama will talk to key European allies as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. The officials briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Netanyahu has been a chief critic of the negotiations and immediately rejected the deal. He’s expected to work to persuade U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation that would block Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran.

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9:45 a.m.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, is predicting that Congress will reject the nuclear agreement with Iran. Rubio says the deal “undermines our national security.”

The Florida senator said President Barack Obama gave “concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.”

Rubio says that failure to obtain congressional support would tell the Iranians and the world “that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States.”

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9:40 a.m.

Democrats in the U.S. Congress are expressing skepticism about the deal that President Barack Obama and Western powers reached with Iran.

Shortly after announcement of the agreement Tuesday, members of Obama’s party cautiously congratulated his effort but said they would review the deal closely in coming weeks.

Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said he would examine the deal to ensure it “adequately protects the interests” of the United States and its allies.

Congress is likely to vote in September on whether to approve or disapprove the deal, though Obama has extensive executive powers to end sanctions on Iran.

Republicans vehemently criticized the deal, as was widely expected. Speaker John Boehner said Obama had abandoned his own goals and the deal would likely fuel a nuclear arms race around the world.

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9:25 a.m.

The Vatican welcomed the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and expressed hope that the progress would extend to other areas.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told journalists the agreement “is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See” and noted that continued efforts “on the part of all involved will be necessary in order for it to bear fruit.”

Lombardi said that “it is hoped that those fruits will not be limited” to the nuclear program alone.

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9:05 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the deal with Iran has brought the world “a sigh of relief.”

In a statement published on the Kremlin website, Putin also said that “Russia will do its utmost to make sure that the Vienna agreement is fully implemented, thus contributing to the international and regional security.”

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8:50 a.m.

Syria’s President Bashar Assad says the signing of a nuclear agreement is “a historic turning point” in the history of Iran and its relationship with countries of the region and beyond.

Assad’s comments came as he congratulated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the deal signed Tuesday.

Assad says coming days will witness a “strengthening of the constructive role played by Iran in supporting the rights of nations.”

Iran is a key supporter of Assad. It has poured in millions of dollars’ worth of help to prop up Assad’s army in recent years as it fights an insurgency and rebels seeking to topple his rule.

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8:30 a.m.

Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, described the deal with Iran as historic, saying it “secures our fundamental aim – to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon – and that will help to make our world a safer place.”

He said the deal required leadership, courage and determination and that it was time to move forward and put it into place.

Cameron said Iran will reap economic benefits, so long as it delivers on everything it has agreed to do.

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8:25 a.m.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry welcomed the agreement that was reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna.

In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said Pakistan had consistently maintained that the Iran nuclear issue should be peacefully resolved through dialogue. Noting Pakistan’s position as a neighbor to Iran, the foreign ministry said such confidence-building measures “auger well for peace and security in our region.”

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8 a.m.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed claims that the Islamic Republic sought to make atomic weapons under its nuclear program.

Speaking live in a nationwide televised address Tuesday, Rouhani said: “Iran has never sought to manufacture a nuclear weapon and will never seek to manufacture a nuclear weapon.”

He added: “The whole world knows very well that manufacturing a nuclear bomb … is considered forbidden.”

The comment came during a speech in which Rouhani sought to appease hard-liners about the merits of the nuclear deal agreed to in Vienna between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

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7:55 a.m.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says the deal announced Tuesday will impose strict limits and inspections on Iran’s nuclear program.

Hammond said in a statement that granting the International Atomic Energy Agency access to verify Iran’s adherence to the agreement will provide confidence that its nuclear program is peaceful.

Hammond said world leaders recognize that there will be concerns in the region.

“We will maintain our clear position in support of the Gulf states and against Iranian interference in their internal affairs,” he said.

Hammond said he hopes and expects that the agreement will herald change in Iran’s relations with its regional neighbors and the world. He said Iran will be encouraged to play a constructive role, “particularly in the struggle against violent Islamist extremism.”

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7:40 a.m.

The spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the nuclear deal announced Tuesday between Iran and world powers in Vienna will be “a catalyst for regional stability.”

Saad al-Hadithi tells The Associated Press that the landmark agreement, designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, is “an important step” and will lead to better unity in the fight against terrorism.

A U.S.-led coalition is conducting airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State militant group while neighboring Iran provides extensive logistical support on the ground. Despite their shared interests in defeating the Islamic State group, coalition nations have not worked directly with Iran, Iraq’s biggest ally, even as negotiations were under way in Vienna.

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7:30 a.m.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the Iran deal he spent the last 19 days negotiating in Vienna is “the good deal that we sought.” Throughout nearly two years of talks, U.S. officials have said that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Kerry that the U.S. and its partners would have finished the negotiations a long time ago had they been willing to settle for a lesser deal.

“We were determined to get this right and I believe our persistence paid off,” Kerry told reporters at a news conference in Vienna, adding that the agreement marked a historic day.

On crutches and still nursing a broken leg, Kerry also joked that Tuesday was a historic day for him personally because it was the first time in six weeks he had worn a pair of shoes.

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7:25 a.m.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says “a new chapter” has begun in relations with the world and the Islamic Republic.

Rouhani made the comments Tuesday in an address from Tehran after world powers reached an agreement with Iran over its contested nuclear program.

Rouhani said: “The sanctions regime was never successful but at the same time it had affected people’s lives.”

Rouhani spoke live on state television flanked by two Iranian flags. He spoke after remarks by President Barack Obama were carried live on state television, a rarity in the Islamic Republic.

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7:15 a.m.

President Barack Obama says a landmark nuclear deal with Iran “is not built on trust, it is built on verification.”

Obama says all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon are cut off under the terms of the agreement announced Tuesday. The president says Iran will remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of uranium.

In exchange, the president says Iran will receive phased in sanctions relief as it fulfills the provisions in the deal.

Obama threatened to veto any congressional legislation that would seek to block implementation of the agreement. He says that no deal “means a greater chance of more war” in the Middle East.

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7:09 a.m.

President Barack Obama says every path to a nuclear weapon will be cut off for Iran under a historic agreement announced in Vienna.

Obama spoke from the White House Tuesday morning after the deal was announced.

Addressing skeptics of the agreement, Obama said, “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.”

He says the nuclear agreement with Iran ensures that Iran “will not develop a nuclear weapon.”

He says Iran’s compliance will be verified by inspections.

Obama said the deal is not built on trust, but instead on verification.

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(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

7/14/2015 4:57:55 PM (GMT -4:00)

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