Tehran: Iran`s leaders hailed the interim nuclear deal struck with world powers on Sunday as recognition of its "right" to enrich uranium and the start of an end to punishing sanctions.
Backed by top decision-maker Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani said the agreement with world powers at talks in Geneva signalled acceptance of the principle of uranium enrichment in Iran.
Rouhani also said the breakthrough deal showed that punitive sanctions slapped on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme were starting to crumble.
"Iran`s right to uranium enrichment on its soil was accepted in this nuclear deal by world powers," he said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
"The sanctions regime will begin to shatter with the (implementation) of this agreement," Rouhani said, adding that the talks in Geneva had sparked "cracks" in the structure of sanctions.
Iran`s supreme leader Khamenei paid tribute to the "achievement" of the Iranian negotiating team in clinching the long-elusive nuclear deal with world powers.
"The nuclear negotiating team should be thanked and appreciated for this achievement. God`s grace and the support of the Iranian nation were the reasons behind this success," he said, quoted by Fars news agency.
"Resistance against excessive demands should be the criteria for (nuclear) officials," added Khamenei, who had stressed during the negotiations that Iran`s "right" to enrich uranium was a red line.
In a letter to Khamenei, Rouhani said the agreement was in the interests of the region and world peace.
"This agreement benefits all regional countries and global peace," Fars quoted him as saying. "Iran`s nuclear and enrichment rights were recognised by world powers."
And on Twitter, the Iranian president forecast that the deal would "open new horizons".
The deal had been made possible due to "Iranian people`s vote for moderation," he said, referring to his surprise election victory in June against a pool of conservatives.