Armenia has welcomed the agreement reached between its neighbor Iran and six leading world powers regarding the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program.
The talks between an Iranian delegation and senior representatives of the so-called P5+1 group – Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany – that opened in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 20 ended early on Sunday in the announcement of a ‘historic’ deal that U.S. President Barack Obama said provided Iran with a “dignified path” to rejoin the international community.
Armenia, which shares a border with Iran and views its southern neighbor as a major trade and economic partner, appeared equally enthused by the news coming from Switzerland.
“This is good news not only for the region but for the whole international community,” said Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in a statement published on the official website of his ministry.
“Armenia has always advocated a negotiated, peaceful solution of the issue. Although the agreement reached is of interim nature, it paves the way for a comprehensive settlement through efforts of all negotiating parties,” the top Armenian diplomat underscored.
After the completion of talks in Geneva official Tehran welcomed the agreement, with President Hassan Rohani saying that “world powers have recognized Iran’s nuclear rights” and cited the opening of “new horizons”.
According to a U.S. government press release, Iran has agreed to halt all uranium enrichment above 5 percent and to neutralize its existing stockpile of near-20 percent enriched uranium below 5 percent within six months. Iran has also agreed not install any new centrifuges for enrichment and not to commission the disputed Arak heavy-water reactor, also agreeing to “unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring” of its nuclear program.
In return, the P5+1 countries have agreed to suspend most sanctions on gold and precious metals and on Iran’s petrochemical exports. They will also allow safety-related repairs of Iranian civilian airliners. In all, the package includes an estimated $7.2 billion in relief from sanctions for Iran.