Iran Nuclear Deal Is First Step to Mending Ties, President Hasan Rouhani Says

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Tehran will fulfill promises under deal, president says in televised speech.

Iran’s president on Friday hailed a framework nuclear deal as a step toward mending frayed relations with the West but warned that he expected the U.S. and other world powers to live up to its terms.

In a televised speech, President Hasan Rouhani said Iran would fulfill its promises under Thursday’s agreement, which sets limits on its nuclear program. It calls for international oversight of the disposal and removal of nuclear material, the movement of advanced centrifuges into storage and other measures aimed at keeping Iran from being able to develop nuclear weapons quickly.

If the accord is completed in further negotiations and Iran complies with its terms, some international sanctions against the country would be lifted. Iran and the six powers—the U.S., Russia, the U.K., Germany, France and China—set a June 30 deadline to work out final details.

“Our agreement with the other side has been and will be reciprocal,” Mr. Rouhani said, in his first public comment on the deal. “If [the other side] wants to choose another path, our people have their own choice as well.”

Western countries have long said that Iran’s program aimed to develop weapons; the Islamic Republic says its activities are for peaceful purposes only.

Mr. Rouhani said the nuclear deal opened “a new page with the world.”

“It is not that we want to settle the nuclear issue and that’s it,” he said, speaking from a podium in Tehran. “In today’s world, progress, development and stability in the region and world is not possible without cooperation and coordination.”

Mr. Rouhani said he wanted to improve relations with countries Iran was already friendly with, while fixing relations that were tense.

“The nuclear negotiations,” he said, “are the first step for constructive interaction with the world.”

Mr. Rouhani, a moderate, has tried to steer a path toward better economic policy and a better rapport with traditional enemies since succeeding conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president in 2013.

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