LONDON, July 14 : World leaders hailed the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, with Barack Obama envisioning a "new direction" and Vladimir Putin voicing a global "huge sigh of relief"-though Israel criticised it as a "historic mistake".
Major international powers who thrashed out the agreement with Tehran said they hoped Iran would build on the opportunity to come in from the cold.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted he remained ready to order military action against Iranian nuclear sites.
US President Obama said the agreement vindicated the exhausting diplomatic efforts and offered a chance to reset vexed relations with Tehran.
"We have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region," he said.
"Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off.
"This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it."
But should Iran step back from measures in the agreement, all sanctions "will snap back into place", Obama warned.
He noted the "real" differences between Iran and the United States, adding that the deal was based on verification, not trust.
Sealed in Vienna after a 13-year stand-off, the deal was reached between Tehran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the deal as a "firm choice for stability and cooperation".
"The world has breathed a huge sigh of relief," he said. Putin said Moscow would "do everything in its power" to ensure the agreement worked.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the deal would "make the situation in the Middle East healthier". He added: "We have great plans to develop Iran's nuclear energy," referring to Russia's plans to build more power reactors in the country.
Low-enriched uranium will also be brought from Iran to Russia.
The Vienna agreement is aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain a nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's sanctions-stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West.
Iran has always denied Western accusations that it has been trying to acquire the know-how to make nuclear weapons. ?AFP