The Final Deal: The Region Reacts

July 15, 2015

The announcement of a final nuclear deal drew strong reactions from the Middle East. Some nations, like Turkey and Iraq, welcomed the deal. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been an outspoken critic of the talks, called the deal “a stunning historic mistake.” Meanwhile, the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC released a statement saying the kingdom “has always been in favor of an agreement.” But it warned that Iran would face “harsh and determined responses” if it uses funds from sanctions relief to “incite turmoil." The following are excerpted remarks from Middle Eastern leaders on the agreement.

Israel
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
 
“The leading international powers have bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism. They’ve gambled that in ten year’s time, Iran’s terrorist regime will change while removing any incentive for it to do so. In fact, the deal gives Iran every incentive not to change. In the coming decade, the deal will reward Iran, the terrorist regime in Tehran, with hundreds of billions of dollars. This cash bonanza will fuel Iran’s terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing.”
 
“By not dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, in a decade this deal will give an unreformed, unrepentant and far richer terrorist regime the capacity to produce many nuclear bombs, in fact an entire nuclear arsenal with the means to deliver it.”
 
“What a stunning historic mistake!”
 
“Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran and Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction.”
 
“We will always defend ourselves.”
—July 14, 2015, in a statement
 
 
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Press Agency
 
 
Translation: “The Kingdom was always in support of the existence of an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons in any way.”  
 
Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC
 
An official Saudi source said today that the Kingdom has always been in favor of an agreement between Iran and the P 5+1 Group that would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The agreement must include a specific, strict and sustainable inspection regime of all Iranian sites, including military sites, as well as a mechanism to swiftly re-impose effective sanctions in the event that Iran violates the agreement.
 
The source confirmed that Saudi Arabia agrees with the P5+1 Group and the international community in continuing the sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism and its violations of international arms treaties.
 
Under the nuclear deal, Iran has to use its resources for domestic development and to improve the living conditions of its people rather than use it to incite turmoil in the region, which would only be met with harsh and determined responses from the countries of the region.
 
The source concluded by saying that since Iran is a neighboring country, the Kingdom is looking forward to build the best of relations in all fields on the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the affairs of others.
July 14, 2015, in a statement
 
Oman
 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah
 
“It reflects confidence in Omani diplomacy and it establishes a new phase in international peace.”
 
“The agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the six world powers serves as evidence of the Sultanate’s capacity and its outstanding relationship with all the parties on the basis of trust. The Sultanate had a role at the highest level between the leaders of the nations and Iran.”
 
“This agreement went through many stages, some of which were based on building trust between the parties and this is essential to end mutual concerns. However, last year witnessed a shift towards positive attitudes to enter substantive negotiations linked to political trends.”
 
“This is paving the way culture of peace between nations and people in the region in general and the world.”
 
“We, at the Gulf Cooperation Council, sense that we are partners in a culture of peace and there might be consultation in the near future between Iran and the GCC states  in this framework so as to enhance stability.”
 
“This agreement is the beginning of a political movement to address all issues in the region and others as well. It requires a bit of patience, and paves the way to diplomatic and political dialogue to address the conflicts in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.”
 
“We should test our ability to employ preventive diplomatic means, the success of this file, including its complexities, is proof that this kind of diplomacy is successful and I call on everyone to use this medium to make a win-win bet to install a culture of peace.”
July 15, 2015, according to the press
 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
Oman followed with great interest the positive discussions that lead to the comprehensive agreement reached between the six major powers and Iran over its nuclear program, which was announced at noon today in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
 
The Sultanate blesses this historic agreement and extends its sincere congratulations to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States and the rest of the Group 5 + 1 on the success of the efforts of dialogue and diplomacy, which confirms that this is the best way to resolve issues in various countries around the world and the Sultanate expresses its deep appreciation for the honest understanding and responsibility shown by the negotiators throughout all the past days and years.
 
The Sultanate is participating with other nations and people around the world in welcoming this achievement hoping that it leads to more security and regional and international stability, as well as to establish a new phase of the relations between countries of the world in which understanding, cooperation and respect prevail. 
July 15, 2015 in a statement
 
Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood al Busaidi
 
Iraq
 
Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al Abadi
 
“The Iran deal expresses a common will to bring peace and security to our region.”
July 15, 2015, according to the press
 
“We have followed with great interest and optimism the news of reaching a comprehensive agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program including the provision of peace, security, stability and prosperity for Iran, the region and the world on other hard choices. As we congratulate the people of neighbouring Iran, the people of the region and the world in this step towards an important agreement, we look forward to its objectives of sparing the region from the horrors and the disasters of war and conflict at a time when it is most in need for security and peace, and further work and cooperation in the fight against terrorism, particularly against ISIS affiliates, which aim to tear the region and the world and sink them in temptation and blood.”
July 14, 2015, on his official facebook account
 
Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jafari
 

“The implementation of the Iran-P5+1 nuclear agreement is necessary for the restoration of security to the region."
July 14, 2015, according to the press (via Iran Front Page)
 

Turkey

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

“Annulment of the sanctions imposed against Iran in this deal will benefit regional economy and will directly leave positive effects on Turkey’s economy."
July 14, 2015, according to the press (via Iran Front Page)