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In Iran, president praises nuclear deal, public has mixed reactions

Iranian President Rouhani meets with nuclear negotiating team and praises preliminary deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday met with his nuclear negotiating team upon their return home and praised them for their work in hammering out the outline of a preliminary deal with six world powers.

Dressed in a blue robe and flanked by members of the team, Rouhani called the framework agreement "the first step" for further engagement with nations across the world. "With the countries we have cold relations, we will have warm relations," he said.

But at Tehran mosques, people interviewed prior to weekly prayers Friday made it clear that not all are happy with the proposal, which would place restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities for more than a decade in exchange for the phase-out of economic sanctions.

One white-turbaned clergyman, who would only provide his first name, Hossian, appeared positive about a potential pact, which must still be worked into a comprehensive, binding agreement over the next three months.

"If national interests, and prudence of the country require us to forget the Death to America slogan, let it be so," he said, while waiting at the VIP gate of a mosque. "Once we were against the USA, now it serves our interests to reduce tensions with America."

But others appeared far more reluctant to accept change.

"The negotiation team should explain to the Iranian people precisely what the framework says," said a black-turbaned clergyman, Hamid Rouhani. "The question is whether the negotiation team has trespassed the red line."

"Death to America is our legacy," he continued. "We hope the USA will be demolished as the Soviet Union has been demolished."

Between the speakers, including a senior presidential advisor who said that "whoever is against this framework is like Zionists," a cheerleader chanted the oft-heard slogan, "Death to America, death to Israel, Death to England."

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