Iran deal will help speed up so­lu­tions in Syria, Ye­men: Iran leader Rouhani

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Iran’s pres­i­dent said Sun­day his coun­try’s nu­clear deal with the West would cre­ate bet­ter prospects for faster so­lu­tions in Syria and Ye­men, two of the Mid­dle East’s worst con­flict zones.

In a live ap­pear­ance on state tele­vi­sion, Has­san Rouhani said the July 14 agree­ment had shown diplo­macy and en­gage­ment were the only way to solve se­ri­ous po­lit­i­cal prob­lems and end crises.

“The fi­nal so­lu­tion in Ye­men is po­lit­i­cal, in Syria the fi­nal so­lu­tion is po­lit­i­cal,” he said. “The agree­ment will cre­ate a new at­mos­phere. The cli­mate will be eas­ier.”

The near two years of talks be­tween Iran and six world pow­ers — the UK, Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China, France, the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, the United States and Ger­many — was a “Her­culean task” but was worth it, Rouhani ar­gued.

“I was never de­spon­dent,” he said of the talks which seemed to be fal­ter­ing at nu­mer­ous stages, with ne­go­tia­tors at log­ger­heads over the terms of the deal.

“Not for a sin­gle sec­ond did I doubt our suc­cess,” he said, not­ing that “in­ter­ac­tion” had tri­umphed over pos­si­ble con­fronta­tion and sur­ren­der, nei­ther of which “held much wa­ter” as op­tions.

Un­der the agree­ment, Iran will curb some but not all as­pects of its nu­clear pro­gram in ex­change for a lift­ing of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions that have pul­ver­ized its econ­omy in re­cent years.

But Iran re­mains at odds with the West over Syria and Ye­men.

Tehran backs Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad and has sent money and mil­i­tary ad­vis­ers to aid his fight against Sunni rebels seek­ing to top­ple his regime.

And in Ye­men, a Saudi-led air cam­paign against Iran- backed Shi­ite Huthi rebels has been heav­ily op­posed in Tehran, lead­ing to a near col­lapse of its ties with Riyadh.

The king­dom ac­cuses Iran of med­dling in Arab states, in­clud­ing Ye­men which is ma­jor­ity Sunni, and Bahrain, a Sunni monar­chy with a Shi­ite ma­jor­ity.

U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry, the chief Amer­i­can ne­go­tia­tor in the Iran nu­clear talks, sought to as­sure Mid­dle East al­lies Sun­day that the deal would make them safer, as he be­gan a re­gional tour in Egypt and later flew to Qatar.

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