November 24, 2013 / 6:47 PM / 6 years ago

Iran will start implementing nuclear agreement in weeks: Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles as he speaks to the media at the International Conference Centre of Geneva in Geneva November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carolyn Kaster/Pool

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday his country would begin implementing a nuclear agreement struck with world powers in the next few weeks, as hundreds of supporters welcomed him and his negotiating team home.

Crowds gathered at Mehrabad airport on Sunday evening local time, hailing Zarif as a hero and holding flags and flowers. “No war, no sanctions, no insults and no submission,” they chanted.

Some held aloft posters of President Hassan Rouhani, the architect of Iran’s initiative in striking a nuclear deal.

“In the coming weeks - by the end of the Christian year - we will begin the programme for the first phase,” Zarif said in a live interview at the airport.

“At the same time, we are prepared to begin negotiations for a final resolution as of tomorrow.”

Earlier on Sunday, the team was acclaimed by Iran’s most powerful man, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who put the success of the agreement down to the resistance of the nation.

Having faced years of economic sanctions, many Iranians expressed joy at a breakthrough that could ease the pressures facing Iran’s economy, which has been all but isolated from the global banking system through embargoes.

Reporting by Marcus George and Isabel Coles; editing by Andrew Roche

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