Last updated: 11 September, 2015

Iran says US had no option except nuclear deal

Iran’s foreign ministry said on Friday that the United States had no option but to strike a nuclear deal with Tehran, after a Republican bid to block the agreement failed.

US President Barack Obama hailed as a “victory for diplomacy” Thursday’s Senate vote during which a Democratic minority in the US Senate staved off the bid to sink the nuclear deal.

But foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham played down his comments saying it was “explicitly paradoxical,” the official IRNA news agency reported.

She said the United States “was forced into negotiating” the deal with Iran due do the “failure of the US policy of sanctions and threats”, the agency reported.

The July deal between Iran and six world powers — China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — limits Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting painful economic sanctions.

“The US president, fruitlessly, tries to claim the results of the nuclear negotiations, but the truth is … the US had no alternative but giving up its excessive demands,” Afkham said.

“The world would definitely be safer when the US administration ends its authoritarian behaviour and prevents the destabilising and warmongering actions by its allies,” she added.

She was taking a jibe at Obama who also said that the Senate vote was a “victory… for the safety and security of the world”.

Republicans complain the deal does not do away with Iran’s nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes.

They say it fails to provide for spot inspections of nuclear sites or force Iran to end support for militant groups like the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Iran accuses the US of interfering in the affairs of its regional allies, Iraq and Syria, and denounces American support for the Saudi-led coalition strikes against Shiite Yemeni rebels.