Iran and six world powers reached a deal Tuesday to limit Tehran's nuclear capabilities, a result of almost two years of negotiations. In a comprehensive accord, the nations settled on terms that include a 98 percent drop in Iran's stockpile of low-level enriched uranium and two-thirds reduction of centrifuges in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
The highly anticipated agreement has been lauded by negotiating nations as a historic moment for choosing diplomatic solutions over conflict, while hard-liners and critics of the deal have said it is not robust enough to stop Iran from getting a bomb.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama both praised the negotiators in separate statements, each characterizing the deal as a win for peace.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the nation in a televised speech after a nuclear agreement was announced, in Tehran, Iran, July 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Elsewhere the agreement was both praised and condemned, as reactions rolled in from around the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the deal in a statement, saying Russia is certain "the world heaved a sigh of relief today." Putin also expressed gratitude toward the negotiating teams, praising the nations involved for choosing stability and cooperation over force.
Russia is the most likely destination for the stockpiled uranium that Iran will have to get rid of under the terms of the deal.
Putin concluded his statement by addressing the issue of compliance, vowing that "Russia will do everything in its power to ensure the full implementation of the Vienna agreements, assisting in strengthening global and regional security, global nuclear non-proliferation, the creation in the Middle East of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and the mobilization of a broad coalition in the region to counter terrorist threats."
British Prime Minister David Cameron similarly praised the deal, saying that it "secures our fundamental aim -- to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon -- and that will help to make our world a safer place."
"There is a real opportunity for Iran to benefit from this agreement in terms of its economy," Cameron added, "but this will only happen if Iran delivers on all the agreed actions required to fully address international concerns about its program."
President Barack Obama, standing with Vice President Joe Biden, responds to the Iran nuclear deal, July 14, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images)
Fresh out of the highly contentious talks on Greece's debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Iran deal an "important success" in a statement.
"I appeal on all sides to contribute to a speedy implementation," said Merkel.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon praised the deal as well, saying in a statement, “I hope -- and indeed believe -- that this agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East.”
One of the first non-negotiator nations to address the deal was Iraq. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described the accord as "a catalyst for regional stability." Tehran is a longstanding partner of Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, and Iran has played a significant role recently in al-Abadi's fight against Islamic State insurgents through the backing of popular mobilization unit militias.
Anti-U.S. graffiti is seen decorating the wall of a building in Tehran, Iran, on July 14, 2015. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian ally Syria also praised the accord, with state news agency SANA carrying a statement by President Bashar al-Assad saying, "We are confident that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support, with greater drive, just causes of nations and work for peace and stability in the region and the world."
The statement highlights fears among rebels that the deal will allow Iran to increase support for Assad in Syria's horrific civil war, Reuters reports. A senior analyst at the International Crisis Group said that it's not clear whether those fears will manifest, telling Reuters that the sustainability of Iran's support isn't certain.
Pakistan, itself a nuclear state, has praised the deal as well. The foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the measures would "auger well for peace and security in our region."
Egypt's foreign ministry also issued a supportive statement, saying, "The foreign ministry spokesman expressed hope that the deal between both sides is complete and prevents an arms race in the Middle East as well as ensuring the region is free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons."
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, leader of the United Arab Emirates, was another to call for regional stability. The Washington Post reports that al-Nahyan issued a statement expressing hope that the deal would “contribute to strengthening regional security and stability.”
Iranian rival Saudi Arabia has not yet issued a public statement, although a Saudi official told Reuters that too many concessions in an agreement would lead to the region becoming "a more dangerous part of the world."
The Saudis were one of the most vocal opponents of the negotiations, in May even threatening to match Iran's nuclear capabilities if a deal went through. However, this Sunday, in anticipation of a forthcoming deal, the nation issued a cautiously supportive statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in his office in Jerusalem on July 14, 2015, after world powers reached a historic nuclear deal with Iran. (THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
One country that has not been shy about expressing criticism is Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the deal "a historic mistake." Netanyahu has vociferously campaigned against aspects of the deal reached this week, saying the basic arrangement doesn't impose the conditions necessary to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu was one of the first to react to the Vienna agreement, tweeting his condemnation even before the 159-page document was released to the public.