Hague welcomes Iranian nuclear deal

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All sanctions could be lifted against Iran if a comprehensive agreement on its nuclear programme can be reached, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

Mr Hague told MPs that until that time core sanctions on Iranian oil and gas and the majority of international sanctions will remain in place.

He was making a statement on 25 November 2013 on a deal with Iran to curb some of its nuclear activities in return for about $7bn (£4.3bn) in sanctions relief.

The agreement, reached on 24 November after days of talks at Geneva, will last for six months while a permanent settlement is negotiated.

Mr Hague said a "huge amount of work" is needed to implement the deal, but asserted that it is an "important, necessary and completely justified step" which should "give us heart that...a comprehensive agreement can be attained".

"This comprehensive solution if agreed would lead to the lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme," he said.

Labour welcomed the deal as a "necessary and important first step". Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said the key test of the interim deal was whether it can be translated into a lasting agreement.

The deal with Iran over its nuclear programme was broadly welcomed by MPs from all sides of the House.

But Conservative Sir Edward Leigh asked: "How can we trust the Iranians, a terrorist regime which poses grave danger to the Arab world and to Israel, which has a long history of lying and duplicity?"

Replying, Mr Hague said the agreement was "so specific and extensive that we will soon be able to see whether they can be trusted or not".

World powers suspect Iran's nuclear programme is secretly aiming at developing a nuclear bomb - a charge Iran has consistently denied.

Israel has called the deal - reached by representatives from the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany - a "historic mistake".

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