Egypt followed “with interest” the agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme reached Thursday, with hopes that a final agreement would be reached by 30 June.
The final agreement would prevent the Middle East from being dragged into a never-ending arms race.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the outline of a deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear programme for 15 years. This would occur in return for a gradual easing of sanctions. The deal comes after two years of negotiations, and 35 years of conflict between the US and Iran.
“Egypt looks forward for the agreement to be a first step towards achieving stability in the region,” said an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement Friday.
Following the announcement in the Swiss city of Lausanne, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said the joint statement gives Iran’s nuclear programme “international credit and acknowledgment”. The positive move is Iran’s main achievement, reported the Tehran Times.
The agreement, enacted between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, annuls six UN Security Council resolutions issued against Iran’s nuclear programme, according to the Iranian newspaper.
The West had imposed sanctions against Iran for 10 years and demanded a stop to Iran’s uranium enrichment. They now respect Iran’s uranium enrichment and guarantee it without stopping it for even one day, Araqchi stated.
He added that the other side’s demand was “trust-building” by Iran, which was met in the agreement.
The agreement incited mixed reactions in Iran. Jokes such as “Today is Friday. What shall we do today? Should we say ‘Down with America’ in Friday prayers or not?” were circulated, while Iran’s streets witnessed celebrations.
But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not receive the news well. “A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel,” he said.
“It is a bad deal that gives Iran legitimacy to possess a nuclear weapon,” Israeli political analysts Mair Cohen told Daily News Egypt. “It comes in a time when Iran has a frightening presence in the region.”
Cohen added that some Israelis expected the agreement to be worse, yet his country is pushing to change the articles to include one that guarantees a non-threat to Israel’s existence.
“There are official Iranian threats to wipe off Israel, yet they pass by unnoticed,” Cohen stated. He condemned the US turning its back on its allies against the stability of the region.
Commenting on Egypt’s foreign ministry statement, the Israeli analyst said that “Egypt does not want to endanger its relations with the US this period”.
Egypt has not yet fully looked into the details of the agreement, and is waiting to acquire them, the Foreign Ministry statement said.
Egypt repeated its demand to vacate the Middle East of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.