Feb 8, 9:38 AM EST

Iran has awarded medals of honor to its nuclear negotiators, who helped clinch a landmark deal with world powers last year


AP Photo
AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Interactives
Iran's power structure
Iran's recent political history
Depth of Field: Covering the Iran elections
Protesters in Iran challenge police
Iran elections
Iran's protests: Then and now
Latest Iran News
Iran has awarded medals of honor to its nuclear negotiators, who helped clinch a landmark deal with world powers last year

Iran's constitutional watchdog, the hard-line Guardian Council, has reversed a ban on 1,500 candidates who had registered to run in Feb. 26 parliamentary elections

Iran's constitutional watchdog, the hard-line Guardian Council, has reversed a ban on 1,500 candidates who had registered to run in Feb. 26 parliamentary elections

Iranian authorities have detained a former BBC Persian service reporter, an Iranian opposition website reported

The Tehran Stock Exchange has rallied to a one-year high after Iran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers went into effect last month

PHOTO GALLERY
AP Photo

Latest Iran Photos

Latest News
Russia's envoy to NATO has warned that Moscow will respond to a buildup of the alliance forces near Russian borders

Russian military helicopter crashes in northwestern Russia killing its entire crew of 4

President Vladimir Putin has scrambled thousands of troops and hundreds of warplanes across southwestern Russia for large-scale military drills intended to test the troops' readiness amid continuing tensions with the West

The strongman leader of Russia's Chechen republic says special operation units from his region have infiltrated Islamic State groups

Russia's Central Bank has withdrawn the licenses from two of the country's banks as part of a larger effort to consolidate the banking sector

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran awarded medals of honor on Monday to its nuclear negotiators, who helped clinch a landmark deal with world powers last year.

President Hassan Rouhani presented the "Medal of Merit" to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the "Medal of Courage" to Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan and Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also the country's nuclear chief.

The July 14 agreement brought about the lifting of international sanctions last month after the United Nations certified that Iran had met all its commitments to curbing its nuclear activities.

"We passed behind us difficult days, difficult hours and nights," Rouhani said at the ceremony. "But we did not lose the right path and God did not leave us alone."

The agreement was a major accomplishment for Rouhani, who was elected in 2013 on a platform promising constructive engagement with the world and an end to Iran's international isolation. His allies are hoping for a strong showing in Feb. 26 parliamentary elections.

Rouhani expressed gratitude for the support he received from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all major policies.

"Without the supreme leader, there was no national unity. Without the supreme leader, our (nuclear) accomplishment would have not been as great as it is today and maybe we would not have had such an achievement," he said.

Iran's nuclear negotiators attended Monday's historic ceremony with their families.

Zarif said after receiving the medal that the nuclear accord is "an agreement based on removing concerns of all parties. That's why it's in the interests of all to comply with the deal."

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.