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President Says Nuclear Deal Achieves Iran’s Goals

Iranian President Hassan Rohani delivering a speech live on Iranian public television on August 2.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani says his country achieved its main goals in a historic deal with world powers that would lift sanctions against Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

In a live television appearance on August 2, Rohani said that from the "very beginning" he was confident of "victory" in the negotiations that led to the accord last month, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.

"I was never despondent," he said.

"Not for a single second did I doubt our success," he added, saying that neither confrontation nor surrender "held much water" as options.

He said the talks between Iran and the six-country group -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -- worked because of "constructive interaction" instead of confrontation.

He added that the agreement will not lead to Iran’s military secrets being revealed or result in "surrendering," IRNA reported.

He called the nearly two years of talks a "Herculean task" but that the result was worth the effort.

Western governments have long believed Iran is using its nuclear program to pursue an atomic weapon. Tehran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and for civilian purposes.

The U.S. Congress and Iran's parliament will vote on the deal in the coming months prior to its implementation.

Rohani said during the televised appearance that the nuclear deal would yield improved prospects for resolutions of the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

"The final solution in Yemen is political, in Syria the final solution is political," he said. "The agreement will create a new atmosphere. The climate will be easier."

Iran has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by sending money and military advisers to aid his regime in its battle against Sunni rebels attempting to oust him.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, accuses Tehran of interfering in Arab states, including Yemen, which is majority Sunni.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier this month that the nuclear deal would not prevent Tehran from backing Assad’s government or "oppressed people" in Yemen.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Egypt earlier on August 2 that Washington and Cairo "recognize that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities in the region, and that is why it is so important to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remains wholly peaceful."

Calling Tehran the "No. 1 state sponsor of terror in the world," Kerry said that "if Iran is destabilizing, it is far, far better to have an Iran that doesn't have a nuclear weapon than one that does."

With reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and
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