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Historic Iran Deal Limits Nuclear Program in Exchange of Sanctions Relief

President Barack Obama, standing with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, after an Iran nuclear deal is reached. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that world powers have reached a historic deal that will limit Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for a sanctions relief, ending more than a decade of often tense negotiations.

Negotiators for Iran and the six world powers – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China –will see Tehran cut back its nuclear programme and require oversight by the United Nations nuclear agency.

President Obama said the deal is a triumph for diplomacy.

In a televised address, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani praised the agreement as well, saying a new chapter had begun in the country’s foreign relations.

The agreement represents a historic compromise after a 12-year standoff that has, at times, threatened to provoke a new conflict in the Middle East. United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, has warned Iran that “if the country fails in a material way to live up to its commitments under the agreement, sanctions will snap right back into place.”

The greatest hurdle will be the U.S Congress, where the opposition Republicans have a majority and are expected to vote against the deal after a review period of up to 60 days. President Obama is expected to veto any negative congressional vote.

International relations expert, Clifford Mashiri, a former Zimbabwean diplomat to Ethiopia, told VOA Studio 7 that both sanctions and diplomacy have brought pressure on Iran to negotiate.

Iran and Zimbabwe have strong ties in the field of agriculture, information technology and tourism. Both countries were slapped with sanctions by the West for alleged human rights abuses.

President Robert Mugabe was particularly close to former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who visited Harare in 2010 to officially open the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.

Mr. Mugabe at the time said he backed Iran’s cause on seeking nuclear power.

President Mugabe said then Tehran and Harare had been unjustly punished by western nations. But the opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai in a unity government with Zanu-PF at the time snubbed the Iranian leader.

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