Iran nuclear deal: 'It's a historic surrender' says Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the news that an agreement had been reached on Tehran's nuclear programme as "a historic mistake" and said he would do everything he could to block the deal.
"Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons. Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted," Netanyahu said at the start of a meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders in Jerusalem.
"Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world. This is a bad mistake of historic proportions."
A deal on limiting Iran's nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief has been reached, a senior diplomat said today and an official announcement is expected later this morning
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called the news an "historic surrender".
She said on Twitter that Israel would "act with all means to try and stop the agreement being ratified," a clear threat to try and use its influence to block it in the Republican-controlled US Congress.
Iran and six major powers have been negotiating for more than two weeks in Vienna in an effort to strike a deal under which Tehran would curb its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.
The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and the UK want the country to scale back its sensitive nuclear activities to ensure that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.
Iran, which has always insisted that its nuclear work is peaceful, wants international sanctions that have largely crippled its economy lifted.
Under the new deal, sanctions imposed by the US, European Union and United Nations would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear programme, long suspected by the West as being a cover for creating a nuclear bomb.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the deal was "a sign of hope for the entire world".
"It is a decision that can open the way to a new chapter in international relations," she said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif added: "What happened today was ending an unnecessary crisis ... we have reached a historical moment ... It is not a comprehensive agreement for all parties involved but it is the best achievement possible that could be reached."
Separately, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran said they had signed a roadmap to resolve outstanding issues.
IAEA head Yukiya Amano told reporters in Vienna that his organisation had signed a roadmap "for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear programme".
He called the agreement would allow the IAEA to "make an assessment of issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme by the end of 2015".
The reaching of a deal is a major policy victory for both US President Barack Obama and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist elected two years ago on a vow to reduce the diplomatic isolation of his country.
Both men face scepticism from powerful hardliners at home after decades of enmity between nations that referred to each other as "the Great Satan" and a member of the "axis of evil".
"All the hard work has paid off and we sealed a deal. God bless our people," one Iranian diplomat, ahead of the official announcement.
According to Associated Press, a senior western diplomat also confirmed an agreement had been reached and that Iran had accepted a "snapback" mechanism, under which some sanctions could be reinstated in 65 days if it violated the deal.
A UN weapons embargo would remain in place for five years and a ban on buying missile technology would remain for eight years.