News / Middle East

Qatar, Kuwait Praise Iran Nuclear Deal

VOA News
Qatar and Kuwait have joined the nations praising the nuclear agreement struck between Iran and a group of world powers, while Israel continues to criticize the deal.

The agreement reached in Geneva early on Sunday calls for Iran to limit its enrichment of uranium and freeze reactor construction. In return, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany agreed to ease some international sanctions on Iran's economy.

Qatar's foreign ministry welcomed the deal in a statement released late Sunday, characterizing it as a step toward ensuring peace and security in the region. Qatar also called for making the Middle East a "nuclear-weapon-free zone."

Kuwait also welcomed the agreement, with Foreign Undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah telling the state-run KUNA news agency that he hoped it would lead to a permanent deal to defuse tension and ensure regional security.

The rulers of Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia -- all Sunni Arab nations -- met Saturday as Iran and the world powers finalized the agreement.

Saudi officials had not commented as of early Monday. In the past, Sunni Arab Gulf leaders have expressed concerns about what they see a campaign by Shi'ite Iran to boost its regional influence.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have long feared Iran will divert its enrichment activities to make atomic weapons that could threaten their interests. Iran claims its nuclear program is peaceful.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the Geneva agreement is a "historic mistake" that makes the world "a much more dangerous place." Israel is pressing for more sanctions on Iran and a complete dismantling of its nuclear facilities.

President Obama offered reassurance late Saturday, saying Washington's commitment to Israel and to its Gulf partners will "remain firm." He also noted that those nations have "good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions."

Two other Gulf states have given cautious welcome to the Geneva agreement, as the United Arab Emirates expressed hope that it will lead to a permanent deal that preserves stability in the region and protects it from nuclear proliferation and Bahrain said it hopes there will be an end to "fear" in the region.

The deal also won praise from Iran's neighbor, Iraq, and main regional ally, Syria, two Arab nations not led by Sunnis.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Geneva pact and urged the governments involved to "do everything possible to build on this encouraging start."

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid