On July 14, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech detailing the accomplishments of the new nuclear deal. President Rouhani declared that prayers of the Iranian nation had been answered and described the deal as a "win-win," adding that Iran was not seeking a nuclear bomb.
Following are excerpts:
Rouhani: "I hereby declare 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 of our [Islamic] Revolution, and in the history of conditions in the region – conditions that, I must say, have continued for the past 12 years, and which were accompanied by illusions on the part of the superpowers, which spread them throughout society and throughout public opinion. The page has been turned over, and a new page has begun.
"In order to resolve the nuclear issue, we had to take necessary steps in various areas. With regard to politics, we had to prepare the necessary preliminary political steps. With regard to [Iranian] public opinion, [we had to make] them realize that the negotiations were not a recitation of statements, but a give and take. Negotiations mean paying money and buying the desired house. We did not seek charity or to get something for free. We sought negotiations, and sought 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 a 'win-lose' situation, because such talks are not viable. If negotiations are 'win-lose,' they will not be lasting. Negotiations and agreements will be durable and lasting when they are win-win situations for both parties. We explained this to our society, and our negotiation team began the talks on this basis 23 months ago.
"From the day that I was sworn in [as president], I said that the West would be able to engage in talks with us if it abandons the path of threats and humiliation and embarks upon a path of respect. What was achieved today under the title of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is rooted in dialogue on the part of Iran and respect on the part of the P5+1. Without these two components, we would not have achieved a thing.
"In the negotiations we sought to achieve four goals. The first goal was to continue the nuclear capabilities, the nuclear technology, and even the nuclear activity within Iran. The second goal was to lift the mistaken, oppressive, and inhumane sanctions. The third goal was to remove all the UN Security Council Resolutions that we view as illegal. The fourth goal was to remove the Iranian nuclear dossier from Chapter VII of the UN Charter and from the Security Council in general. In today's agreement, in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, all four goals have been achieved.
"At the beginning of negotiations, the other side used to tell us that during the period of restrictions – which today is set at eight years – Iran would be able to have only 100 centrifuges. After many deliberations, they have reached the figure of 1,000 centrifuges. Following much opposition on our part, they said: '4,000 centrifuges, and that's final.' Today, the agreement specifies that Iran will retain over 6,000 centrifuges, of which 5,000 will be at Natanz and over 1,000 at Fordo. All the centrifuges at Natanz will continue to enrich [uranium].
"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: 'Our last word is 20 years, and we will not capitulate any further.' In the final days of the negotiations, these 20 years shrank to eight years.
"On the issue of research and development, they used to say that Iran would be allowed only [first-generation] IR-1 [centrifuges]. This was ridiculous and unrealistic. Research and development under such conditions is meaningless. Then they said: 'IR-2 at most.' Eventually they said: 'IR-8 is impossible.' What Iran sought was IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges. We wanted an agreement in which we would begin, on the very day of its implementations, to inject UF-6 gas into [advanced] IR-8 centrifuges. That is exactly the agreement that we achieved today.
"On the issue of Arak, they used to say: 'The reactor can remain, but not as a heavy water facility. This is an absolute red line for us.' Today, according to the terms agreed upon, the joint agreement explicitly mentions the Arak heavy water reactor. This reactor will be completed with the same heavy water nature, and with the characteristics specified in the agreement.
"On the issue of Fordo, they used to say: 'It is hard to pronounce the name Fordo, even harder to hear it, so you will not say it and we will not hear it.' Then they said: 'At Fordo there should not be a single centrifuge, and it will be a center for isotope research.' After months of bargaining they said: 'Only one cascade of 164 centrifuges will remain at Fordo.' Let me say, in a nutshell, that today, over 1,000 centrifuges will be installed at Fordo, and that part of Fordo will be used for research and development of stable isotopes.
"On the issue of sanctions they used to say: 'The lifting of all the sanctions all at once – never. As for the gradual lifting of the sanctions, first you need to gain our trust over the course of months, and even then, the sanctions will be gradually frozen, not lifted. Do not use the term "lift the sanctions." We will freeze them.' [They further said]: 'In the years to come, if the IAEA issues a positive report and you gain our trust, the sanctions will be gradually lifted.' Today I declare before the honorable Iranian nation that according to the agreement, on the day of its implementation, all the sanctions – even the embargo on weapons, missiles, and [dual-use technology] proliferation – will be lifted, as is stated in a [Security Council] resolution. All the financial sanctions, all the banking sanctions, and all the sanctions pertaining to insurance, transportation, petrochemical [industries], and precious metals, and all the economic sanctions will be completely lifted, and not frozen. Even the arms embargo will be stopped. There will be a kind of restriction [on arms] for five years, after which it will be lifted. With regard to proliferation [of dual-use technology], a committee will examine goods with a dual use. With regard to the revocation of the UN [Security Council] resolutions, they used to say: 'You have not implemented any resolution, so how can we revoke the resolution? At the very least implement it for six months.'
"According to today's agreement, which will be approved in the coming days by the UN Security Council, all six previous resolutions [against Iran] will be revoked. With regard to the permanent removal of the Iranian nuclear dossier from the Security Council, they used to say: 'The IAEA must report for 20 years,' then 'for 15 years.' In today's [agreement], regardless of the IAEA, after 10 years of implementation of the agreement, the nuclear dossier will be completely removed from the Security Council.
"This agreement is, of course, reciprocal.
"Today, [we are talking about] the implementation of a reciprocal agreement. If they adhere to this agreement, we will too. Throughout history, the Iranian nation has always stood behind the treaties to which it committed itself. We will stand firmly behind the current treaty, provided the other side also strictly adheres to it.
"This is the most important day in the past 12 years. Historically, this is the day on which all the large countries and the superpowers in the world have officially recognized Iran's nuclear activities.
"If some of the P5+1 countries want to declare today, 'We have prevented Iran from producing a nuclear bomb,' the whole world knows full well that according to the fatwa of [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, producing a nuclear bomb is a mistaken, inhuman, and forbidden endeavor. In the view of our scientists, Iran has never and will never aspire to produce a nuclear bomb, whether or not there is an agreement and whether or not it is implemented. Therefore, if they want to talk about an achievement, they should talk about the real achievement – the new atmosphere that has been created today in the region, which will lead to expansion of regional and global cooperation."