Multi-nation deal halts Iran's nuclear program - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Multi-nation deal halts Iran's nuclear program

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GENEVA (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that if Iran's nuclear program is truly just for peaceful purposes, then it simply needs to "prove it" to the world.
   
Kerry spoke in Geneva after a marathon negotiating session -- lasting about 18 hours -- that culminated with a first-step deal between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S. The deal is designed to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.
   
Speaking to reporters Sunday, Kerry also insisted that the first-step deal will make Israel, a key U.S. ally and archenemy of Iran, safer.
 
Iran's nuclear negotiators are back in Tehran, greeted by hundreds of cheering supporters as they arrived. The crowd, mostly young students, called both Iran's foreign minister and its top nuclear negotiator "the Ambassador of Peace."
   
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has loudly criticized the deal, saying the international community is giving up too much to Iran.
   
It's being called the most significant development between Washington and Tehran in more than three decades of estrangement between the two nations.
   
The agreement commits Iran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for limited and gradual sanctions relief. It builds on the momentum of the dialogue opened during September's annual U.N. gathering, which included a 15-minute phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani.
   
It marks a milestone between the two countries, which broke diplomatic ties 34 years ago when Iran's Islamic revolution climaxed in the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Since then, relations between the two countries have been frigid to hostile -- until the recent outreach between the two presidents.
   
Obama hailed the deal as putting "substantial limitations" on a nuclear program that the United States and its allies fear could be turned to nuclear weapons use.
   
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the deal recognizes Tehran's "rights" to maintain an atomic program.
 
Rouhani on Sunday repeated Iran's claim that it would "never" seek atomic weapons. His reference to "nuclear rights" in a nationally broadcast speech touches on the country's demand to keep its uranium enrichment program.
 
A senior Israeli Cabinet minister is criticizing the international deal over Iran's nuclear program.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is responsible for monitoring Iran's nuclear program, says there is no reason for the world to be celebrating. He says the deal, reached in Geneva is based on "Iranian deception and self-delusion."

Israel believes Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon.

In recent weeks, Israel had warned the emerging deal would give Iran too much relief from economic sanctions without halting Iran's march toward a nuclear bomb.

President Obama called Netanyahu, pledging consultations on Iran nuclear deal.

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