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EU, UN say 'yes' to Iran deal

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 01:59

A historic deal to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme has got an official thumbs up from the EU and the UN Security Council - with Germany's economy minister already in Tehran to lay the groundwork for lucrative new deals. David Pollard reports.

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History in the making as the United Nations endorses the Iran deal. Tehran's once greatest enemy now turned would-be friend - if still cautious for now. Samantha Power is the US ambassador at the UN. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS SAMANTHA POWER, SAYING: "So while this deal doesn't address many of our profound concerns, if implemented it will make the world safer and more secure." And here in Tehran, deals in the making as Germany calls on what it hopes will be a major customer. Economy minister Sigmar Gabriel the first off the mark from Western nations looking for contracts. For decades, Germany was Iran's largest trading partner. Exports to Iran hit 4.4 billion euros in 2005 - then slumped to 1.8 billion as the West tightened sanctions in 2013. Those sanctions will be lifted if Iran curbs its nuclear ambitions. Trade aside, Germany says there are other issues too. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SIGMAR GABRIEL, MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND ENERGY AND VICE CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY SAYING: "Issues like human rights, civil rights and others are meaningful for us Germans because Israel's security has a significant importance for us." Israel has in fact restated its fierce opposition to the agreement. Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, denouncing it as hypocrisy. That though not enough to dampen the other major diplomatic approval of the day. European Union foreign ministers gave their formal approval - saying there was no better option available. And while Germany hopes to boost its Iranian exports to around 10 billion euros within a few years, they won't be the only ones rubbing their hands together, says BGC's Mike Ingram. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE INGRAM, MARKET STRATEGIST AT BGC, SAYING: ''The way I interpret it is really giving Barack Obama some political cover. He of course has had a lot of flack, particularly from the Republicans back home in doing this deal with Iran, and what better way to say I have broad international backing than to get vice-chancellor from Europe's largest economy to take a trip over there.'' A smooth passage through the U.S. Congress - that's still far from guaranteed. The clock just now starting on 60-day period for U.S. lawmakers to give their thumbs up - or , indeed, thumbs down.

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EU, UN say 'yes' to Iran deal

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 01:59