Iranian President Hassan Rohani delivered an address to the Iranian nation on July 14, 2015, immediately after the announcement earlier that day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 in Vienna. The following is MEMRI's translation of his address from the original Persian as published by the Tasnim news agency on that date. All emphases below are in the original.
Rohani delivering speech, Tasnim, July 14, 2015.
"Peace and blessings upon the pure souls of the prophets and the holy men, the great Prophet of Islam [Muhammad], the Imams, the Imam of the martyrs [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini], and the exalted martyrs, especially the nuclear [scientists], and peace and blessings upon the Hidden Imam.
"Ramadan is always a month of goodness and blessings, a month of greater closeness between the people and God, and, according to what I have heard during this year's Ramadan, many people have prayed... that the negotiating team will succeed in securing a good agreement.
"I hereby announce to the great Iranian people that their prayers have been answered. Today we are at an important stage in the history of our state and our [Islamic] Revolution, and of conditions in the region - circumstances that, I must say, have continued for the past 12 years [since the beginning of the negotiations over Iran's nuclear dossier], which were accompanied by illusions on the part of the superpowers, who spread them throughout society and throughout public opinion.
"The page is done, and a new page has begun.
"This new page begins when the way to solving the world's toughest problems is shorter and less costly. The important issue of the Iranian nuclear [program] was, on the one hand, political and international, for which many sanctions resolutions [against Iran] were imposed by the Security Council, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. On the other hand, [the nuclear issue] resulted in a campaign of Iranophobia in society and in the world, under which it was claimed that Iran aspires to obtain weapons of mass destruction and nuclear [weapons].
"With regard to science, technology, and the advancement of the state, the nuclear issue has become important to us. With regard to society, it became a source of national pride and honor. With regard to the economy, due to the pressure by those who leveled sanctions, harsh conditions were created in society, although, as I have stressed before, the sanctions never reaped success even though they impacted the lives of the people.
"I am happy that today we have succeeded in reaching a new point by means of negotiations that continued for 23 months, between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the six global superpowers... on the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action."
Iran Agreed To Dialogue, The P5+1 Agreed To Respect Us
"In order to solve the nuclear issue and problem, we had to take necessary steps in various areas. In the political area, we had to prepare the necessary preliminary political steps. With regard to [Iranian] public opinion, [there was a need to cause] them to realize that the negotiations were not a recitation of statements but a give and take. The meaning of negotiations is paying money and buying the desired house. We did not seek charity; no one will give us anything for free. We aspired to negotiation, aspired to advance a fair and just give and take based on national interests. We have always stressed the point that these negotiations would not be win-lose, because such talks are not viable. Negotiations and agreements will be strong and permanent only if they are win-win for both sides. We explained this to our society, and our negotiating team began the talks based on this [formula] 23 months ago [when I entered office].
"In addition, in order to reap success in the negotiations, we needed a national domestic consensus. Obviously, within Iran, politicians, organizations, and factions do not have a uniform opinion... But, happily, we managed to reach a consensus in our society on this issue, in an open and democratic atmosphere. The road to negotiations began even before this government [took office]. In effect, from the first day of the nuclear problem - that is, 12 years ago - the path to negotiations began, on orders from the Leader [Ali Khamenei], and since 2003 we have continued these negotiations in Tehran, in neighboring capitals, and in Western European capitals.
"Ultimately, the Iranian people had its say on this issue in the 2013 [presidential] elections, and announced explicitly: We want a government that will take into account nuclear achievements along with peace, the advancement of the state, and the welfare of the people all together. This was the path that my government chose and promoted...
"Since my inauguration as president, I have said that the West can have dialogue with us only if it abandons the threats and humiliation, and starts to respect [us]. The agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, that was achieved today, has its roots in that same dialogue by Iran and in that respect on the part of the P5+1. Without these two elements, we would have achieved nothing.
"We needed to organize the state's economy under the conditions of the sanctions and the inflation crisis in order for the negotiations to succeed. We began the negotiations under the conditions of sanctions, and with inflation of over 40%, as well as with negative growth at a rate of -6.8%. But during the talks, we organized the economy, reined in the inflation, and achieved positive growth. This is the strongest message that my government sent to the P5+1. Most important were also the steadfastness, the resistance, and the bearing of hardships by the courageous [Iranian] people... which brought the other side to the negotiating table."
Iran's Four Goals Have Been Achieved
"In the negotiations, we aspired to achieve four goals: The first was to continue the nuclear capabilities, the nuclear technology, and even the nuclear activity. The second was to remove the mistaken, oppressive, and inhuman sanctions. The third was to remove the Security Council resolutions that we see as illegitimate. The fourth was to remove the nuclear dossier from Chapter VII of the UN Charter and the Security Council in general. All four goals have been achieved today with the agreement and the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action. Of course, as we know, the extraordinary efforts by diplomats, legal experts, economists, and nuclear scientists continued throughout these past 23 months, in order to oversee these red lines so that we could achieve our goals."
The West's Demands vs Iran's Achievements In The Agreement
Over 6,000 Centrifuges
"At the start of the negotiations, the other side would tell us that during the period of restrictions - which today is set at eight years - Iran could have only 100 centrifuges. After many deliberations, they arrived at 1,000. Because of great opposition [on our part], they said 4,000 and that this would not change. Today, the agreement is carried out under conditions that state that [Iran] will retain over 6,000 centrifuges, over 5,000 of which will be at Natanz and over 1,000 at Fordo. All centrifuges at Natanz will continue to enrich [uranium]."
Eight Years Of Restrictions
"They said, 'The period of your restrictions will be 20 years, in addition to 25 years.' Later they said '20 years and 10 years.' Then they said: 'Last word - 20 years, and we will not capitulate any more.' But in the final days of the negotiations, they went down to eight years."
Research And Development Continue - Gas Injection Into Highly Advanced IR-8 Centrifuges
"On the issue of research and development - they would say that only [first generation] IR-1 [centrifuges] would be allowed. This was ridiculous and unrealistic. R&D in this situation is meaningless. Then they said: 'IR-2 at most.' We wanted an agreement [under which] on the day of its implementation we would begin to inject gas into [advanced] IR-8 [centrifuges] and that is exactly what we achieved today."
The Heavy Water Reactor At Arak Will Be Completed As Such
"On the issue of Arak, they would say: 'The reactor will remain but the heavy water [facility] is null [sic, apparently meaning that the Arak reactor will stay, but not as a heavy water reactor].' This is an absolute red line for us. Today the terms were agreed; according to them, the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action explicitly notes the Arak heavy water reactor. This reactor will be completed with the same heavy water nature and with the characteristics noted in the agreement."
Fordo - Centrifuges As Well As R&D
"On the issue of Fordo, they would say 'It is hard to pronounce the name Fordo and it is even harder to hear it, so you will not say it and we will not hear it.' Then they said, 'At Fordo there will be not one centrifuge, and it will be a center for isotope research.' After months of talks, they said 'Only one cascade of 164 centrifuges.' I will be brief and say that today, over 1,000 centrifuges will be installed at Fordo, and part of Fordo will be used for R&D on stable isotopes."
All Sanctions, Including Weapons And Missile Embargos, Will Be Lifted
"On the issue of sanctions, they would say, 'Months must pass and you must earn [our] trust so that later the sanctions can be gradually frozen - not lifted. Do not use the term "lift." In subsequent years, if the IAEA publishes a positive report and it will be possible to trust [you], then the sanctions will be gradually lifted.' Today I announce to the Iranian nation that under this agreement, on the day the agreement is implemented all the sanctions - even the embargo on weapons, missiles, and proliferation - will be lifted as stated in the [Security Council] resolution. All the financial and banking sanctions, and those related to insurance, transportation, petrochemical [industries], precious metals, and all economic sanctions will be completely lifted, not frozen. Even the arms embargo will be stopped. There will be a type of restrictions for five years, and after that they will be lifted. On the matter of proliferation, a committee will examine goods [that have] dual [use, that is, civilian and military nuclear use]."
The Security Council Will Immediately And In The Coming Days Revoke The Anti-Iran Resolutions
"With regard to the revocation of the Security Council resolutions, they would say, 'You have not implemented any resolution, how can we revoke a resolution that you have not implemented? At least implement [it] for six months.' Under today's agreement, which will be approved in the coming days in the UN Security Council, all six previous resolutions [against Iran for violations and non-compliance with the IAEA] will be revoked."
Iran's Nuclear Dossier Will Be Removed From Security Council After 10 Years, Regardless Of IAEA
"On the issue of the permanent removal of the Iranian nuclear dossier from the Security Council, they would say, 'First the IAEA must report for 20 years, then 15 years.' Today the nuclear dossier will be completely removed from the Security Council, after 10 years of implementation of the agreement, and regardless of the IAEA."
A Response To Iran's Ideological Camp - The Agreement Is Reciprocal
"We may be asked if this agreement is based on trust in the P5+1... For us, on the matter of trust, the execution of this agreement is the beginning of a test. If it is implemented accurately and well, this could, gradually and step by step, remove the bricks from the wall of mistrust. Obviously, we are currently promoting our own interests on the basis of absolute meticulousness and oversight of the [implementation of] the agreement, without having to first trust countries with a completely negative record regarding Iran...
"Of course this agreement is reciprocal... Today [the issue is] the execution of a reciprocal agreement. If they do not adhere to this agreement, obviously neither will we. Iran has always, throughout history, stood behind the pacts to which it committed. We will strictly adhere to this agreement provided the other side also strictly adheres to it."
The Stages Of The Agreement
"Of course, this agreement has various stages. Today was the first stage. That is, all seven countries agreed on the text of the agreement and accepted its five annexes. The next stage, that will be in the coming days: The text of the agreement, and the text that will be submitted to the Security Council, must be approved by the Security Council, under Article 25 and not under Chapter VII [which allows sanctions], and, in issues of revocation of previous [Security Council] resolutions, under Article 41. After that, the stages will continue in the various countries.
"On the day that will be called the day of the agreement - because today is [only] the date of the joint statement - which will be several days after the UN approves [the agreement], will mark the end date [of the sanctions]. In another two months or so, we will reach the day that is the day of the agreement. On that day, Europe and America will clearly announce the lifting of all the sanctions and will express their decision, and then will begin Iran's steps, which will take time because of the steps taken [by Europe and America] to execute the lifting of the sanctions. It might take more than two months until we reach this day. That day will be the day of the execution of the agreement - meaning that in several months will come the day of the absolute execution of the agreement."
The Superpowers Recognize Iran As A Nuclear Power
"Today is the most important day of the past 12 days [of negotiations]. It is a day when, historically, the largest countries in the world and the superpowers officially recognized Iran's nuclear activity. Today is a day when, after 12 years [of negotiating], the world's superpowers announced that they will assist Iran in the issue of nuclear and modern technology. Today is the day when the superpowers announced that all sanctions will be lifted and all oppressive [Security Council] resolutions will be revoked, and normal relations with Iran will begin. Today is a day of ending and of beginning. An end to oppression and mistaken allegations against the great Iranian nation, and the beginning of a new process for a process of new cooperation in the world.
"Today, not only are the people in Shiraz, Esfahan, Tabriz, Khorasan, Ahwaz, Tehran, Kerman, and other Iranian cities happy, when they see the chain of sanctions melting away, but also the people in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Lebanon are happy too because the hollow efforts of the oppressive Zionist regime to thwart the negotiations during the past 23 months have failed.
"Today the region is also happy because many of the hollow excuses for oppressing the region and the pressure on it based on the claim that Iran wants to produce nuclear weapons are over."
The Fatwa Guarantees That Iran Does Not Strive For Nuclear Weapons
"If some in the P5+1 want to announce, 'We prevented Iran from producing nuclear weapons,' then the whole world knows full well that according to the view of [Iran's] nuclear scientists, producing an atomic bomb is a mistaken, inhuman, and forbidden endeavor, in accordance with the fatwa by the Leader [Khamenei], and that Iran will never aspire to a nuclear bomb, whether there is an agreement or not, and whether it is executed or not. It would be better for them to talk of the true achievement, which is the new atmosphere created today in the region, according to which regional and global cooperation will expand.
"I wish to thank all those who played a part in reaching this important and historical day, beginning with the great Iranian nation, by virtue of its steadfastness and resistance for 12 years against a variety of misguided pressure;
"To the Leader [Khamenei], who always helped the nation, the state, the regime, and the government under harsh conditions, by virtue of his very capable hands, and who, on this path, with his guidance, his oversight, and his meticulousness, bore on his shoulders this heavy yoke;
"I thank the Majlis and its head; the judiciary and its head; all the armed forces that always backed up the nation, the regime and the government; the Expediency Council; the Assembly of Experts; the religious seminaries; the senior ayatollahs; the universities and the men of culture; the young men and women; and all the people whose smiles always filled us with hope, and whose determination gave us strength."
Warning To The Ideological Camp
"I hereby announce that if anyone wants to criticize - sympathetically criticize - it is allowed, but I will not allow harm to the hope of the people for the glorious future of this country, to the people's hope for economic growth, [and] to the people's hope for peace and security in our country and region. If anyone wishes to harm the people's hopes and confidence with lies, accusations, or inappropriate speech, I will not allow it.
"Today is not a day of ending for the great Iranian nation, it is a day of beginning, a day of moving forward and of new hope. A beginning of a better future for our youth, a beginning of swifter movement, of prosperity, and of the development of our dear country of Iran."
A Message To The Arab Countries And Against Israel
"And finally, [to the] nations of the region and neighboring countries: Do not be misled by the propaganda of the Zionist regime and the evil-mongers of this [Iranian] nation. Iran and its might are always your might. We see the security of the region as our security, and the stability of the region as our stability. Iran's science, technology, prosperity, and development will benefit its neighbors. Iran does not and will not aspire to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Iran does not and will not desire to pressure the countries of the region.
"Countries of the region! Relations between us and you have a new beginning today. We want more honesty, more closeness and fellowship, and more developed relations.
"To the great Iranian nation - thanks to your efforts, actions, and trust in the government, we will continue on this path successfully to the end."