Middle East

World press cautiously upbeat on Iran deal

Iranians look at papers at a newsstand Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many Iranian papers published a second edition to reflect the news from Geneva

The press in Iran is in a positive mood about the deal reached with world powers in Geneva over its nuclear programme, with even hardline papers hailing the fact - in their view - that the country won recognition of its "right" to uranium enrichment.

Elsewhere in the region, some Israeli commentators are sceptical, with one likening the deal to Swiss cheese - "full of holes".

Editorials in the US and Europe welcome the deal, but with reservations. In the UK, The Daily Telegraph warns the West not to drop its guard.

Russian and Chinese commentators say the deal vindicates their countries' long-running stances.


Editorial in hardline Keyhan

"The serious efforts to protect the people's rights in the face of bullying and demanding rivals are by themselves worthy of appreciation and, regardless of the outcome, people will not forget those efforts."

Editorial in conservative Javan

"The agreement reached was a remarkable success for the Iranian team. It undermined efforts by the Zionists, the White House and their allies to end Iran's enrichment process. But the deal does not mean that oppressive acts by the dominant system, especially America, against the Iranian people will be ignored. The people of Iran still view America as their foremost enemy."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Negotiators returned to Iran with a deal worth about $7bn (£4.3bn) in sanctions relief

Editorial in hardline Jomhuri-ye Eslami

"We could have reached a similar agreement in the past, but because of the absence of logic in [former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's] government and top officials' harsh language, there was no progress. The new government [of President Hassan Rouhani], however, entered the talks with logic and used the language of law. The outcome was successful, with positive results not only for Iran, but also for the region and the world."

Editorial in moderate Mardom Salari

"The Geneva agreement marks the fulfilment of the president's most important promise - bringing hope and calm to society. It is natural that some radicals inside Iran whose interests are tied up in the continuation of sanctions would express opposition or magnify negative remarks by US officials, but the important thing is that the negotiations ended in Iran's favour."

Middle East

Nahum Barnea in Israel's centrist Yedioth Ahronoth

"The agreement is like Swiss cheese - full of holes. On the positive side, it places Iran under close international supervision. On the negative, it comes to terms with Iran's right to be a nuclear threshold state. Instead of crying about it, or threatening [US President Barack] Obama with a military operation that will not happen, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu would do well to focus on restraining the next agreement. Let him get up off the floor. This is not the time for false threats and self-pity."

Dror Eydar in Israel's pro-Netanyahu Yisrael Hayom

"Seventy-five years have passed since [the 1938 Munich Agreement that permitted Nazi Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland] and we thought that we had learned. The fools are paving the road to their ruination through negotiations with evil. Let the whole world know that we are free from the defeatist mentality of Geneva 2013. Like then, so now - the surrender agreement will lead to war that is 10 times more terrible."

Nadav Eyal in Israel's centre-right Ma'ariv

"The West proposes to the Iranians that they abandon their road of isolation and hatred. If the deal brings a new spirit, this same spirit will change the issues and the facts. It will change Iran just like the negotiations in Northern Ireland changed the quarrelling parties and swayed them from the road of violence. This is the hope and as great is the hope so is the danger."

Editorial in Jordanian pro-government daily Al-Dustur

"These new dynamics may see the repositioning of Iran in a number of regional crises and alliances, and the redefinition of its role as part of the solution rather than part of the problem... The new deal will also help impose a political solution in Syria."

Editorial in Lebanese privately-owned daily Al-Anwar

"This is the greatest diplomatic victory for Iran... It wanted to create a direct path between Iran and the West, no matter how narrow. The Iranians know that, with patience, they can widen this path and turn it into a motorway with flowers on both sides."

Editorial in Qatari privately-owned daily Al-Rayah

"This could be an historic deal, not only for Iran but for all countries in the region; a deal that can contribute towards ensuring nuclear non-proliferation, making this a region free of nuclear weapons, which will in turn safeguard peace and stability."


Editorial in The New York Times

"Even though the temporary agreement does not achieve permanent and total dismantlement of Iran's nuclear programme, no-one can seriously argue that it doesn't make the world safer. The alternatives are ratcheting up sanctions and possible military action, with no assurance that those steps would stop Iran's nuclear advances. A negotiated solution is unquestionably better; it is alarming to hear Israeli politicians reject it in extremist terms and threaten unspecified unilateral action."

Editorial in The Wall Street Journal

"The best that can be said is that the weekend deal slows for a few weeks Iran's rapid progress to a nuclear breakout. But the price is that at best it sets a standard that will allow Iran to become a nuclear-capable regime that stops just short of exploding a bomb. At worst, it will allow Iran to continue to cheat and explode a bomb whenever it is strategically convenient... Mr Obama seems determined to press ahead regardless. Congress can signal its bipartisan unhappiness by moving ahead as soon as possible to strengthen sanctions. "


Editorial in UK's The Telegraph

"Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, was wrong to denounce a 'historic mistake'. True enough, there are serious risks. But rejecting the deal would have meant that Iran's nuclear programme expanded month by month, until the terrible moment arrived when America would have had little choice but to go to war. On balance, we will be safer with this pragmatic agreement than without it. The West, however, should not drop its guard."

Editorial in UK's The Guardian

"If, indeed, decades of hostility with its foe are about to end, America will have to readjust its relationship with its friends. No longer will their interests necessarily override all others in Washington. There is a long way to go before that happens and, as Barack Obama said, Geneva was just a start... The strongest argument against the nay-sayers - the hawks in Congress, Israel, some Gulf states and also in Iran - is to question what alternative they offer, apart from propelling the Middle East into another war."

Rudolph Chimelli in Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung

For the moment, the rapprochement between the US and Iran is only partial, but the Geneva agreement awakens great hopes: Tehran's goodwill could achieve great things in the Middle East. If a relationship of trust is established, it would not only be Washington who would find things easier - even for Israel, there could be new opportunities.

Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Only when a final, transparent and durable agreement is reached, will it be possible to speak of a major gain in security. That would be a foundation of trust on which more can be built. There would be also new prospects for US-Iranian relations. For Iranian domestic consumption, however, the United States are for the time being still the 'Great Satan'."

Editorial by Francois Sergent in France's centre-left Liberation

"We must not underestimate the importance of the Geneva agreement. It is true that the future of the Middle East is not being transformed, but for the first time dialogue is being established between the Iran of the mullahs and the rest of the world... We need to take the new authorities under President Rouhani by their word, if only to test the balance of power in the Iranian jigsaw puzzle... The Geneva agreement is certainly a gamble, but one that must be attempted."


Editorial in Russian business daily Vedomosti

"Russia's gain should not be undervalued. The easing of sanctions will simplify Moscow's talks on new contracts in the nuclear power engineering sector and on arms sales... Also, the agreement on the Iranian peaceful atom will ease tension on the southern approaches to Russia."

Analyst Andrey Baklitskiy in influential Russian daily Kommersant

"This is no mean feat for Russia, whose stance over the last 10 years or more has virtually formed the basis of the agreement... However, it is too early to talk about the final victory of diplomacy. Geneva has set the dynamics of the process for the next six months only."

Editorial in popular Russian daily Moskovskiy Komsomolets

"The human instinct for survival, and the aspiration among peoples for peace and international security, have forced leaders to seek peaceful goals instead of escalating a cold war."


Commentary by state-run Xinhua News Agency

"China, as a major negotiator of the P5+1 group [of world powers], has played a positive role and shouldered its due responsibility in striking the deal... How to implement the agreement, which accommodates the concerns of the various parties involved, will be the next key step to take... The signing of an envisioned comprehensive agreement as well as the implementation of those accords already reached needs greater sincerity and mutual respect from all parties."

Editorial in state-run China Daily

"As China has been playing a constructive role in the multilateral talks, experts also said the primary agreement will enhance China's co-operation with the region... Some of the observers take the deal as the starting point of warming Iran-US ties, while others argue that it will still be difficult for the two countries to really build mutual trust."

Editorial in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post

"Beijing played the role of broker in a historic deal... Analysts say China pulled off a delicate balancing act in the negotiations between Iran, seen by Beijing as a long-term partner, and the US."

Academic Tian Wenlin in The Beijing News

"The US has learnt to compromise on the Iranian nuclear negotiations, just as in the proposal to 'destroy chemical weapons in return for peace' in Syria. It is evident that the US attitude has softened in the treatment of hard-line countries in the Middle East."

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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