Qatar hails Iran deal as France says some sanctions may be lifted in December
IRAN, Tehran : A handout picture released by the Iranian presidency shows the Islamic Republic's President Hassan Rouhani speaking during a press conference on November 24, 2013 in Tehran a day after world powers forged a deal with Iran in Geneva. (AFP)
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Qatar has become the latest Gulf Arab state to laud Sunday's nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, hailing it as a step towards greater stability in the region.
Qatar's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the deal is an "important step toward safeguarding peace and stability in the region," the Associated Press reported.
The Gulf's major political player, Saudi Arabia, has previously expressed unease about the U.S.' diplomatic ties with Iran, but Washington's diplomatic push with Tehran led to Sunday's deal, which eased Western concerns that Tehran could develop its nuclear program.
According to AP, Saudi officials have not publically commented on the first-step deal signed on Sunday in Geneva, but smaller Gulf partners have backed the accord - such as Kuwait and the UAE - have lauded the deal as a great success.
Also Monday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the European Union is likely to lift some of the sanctions on Iran as early as December, as part of the hard-won deal hammered out in Geneva.
Fabius also said Israel -- which blasted Sunday's agreement as a "historic mistake" -- was unlikely to launch any kind of preventative strikes on enemy Iran, "because no one would understand" such a move "at this stage," Agence France Presse reported.
On Sunday in Geneva, world powers forged a deal with Iran after four days of intense talks, promising to ease some of the strict U.S. and EU sanctions on the Islamic Republic in return for Tehran limiting its uranium enrichment program. The West has long been suspicious that Iran has been chasing down a nuclear weapon through its uranium enrichment.
Speaking on Monday morning to Europe 1 radio, Fabius said that EU foreign ministers would gather together in "a few weeks" to put forward a proposal to partially lift some sanctions, which the 28-member body will have to approve, AFP reported.
"This lifting of sanctions is limited, targeted and reversible," the minister said, adding that it would take place "in December".
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