Front pages: 'Historic' US-Iran deal and bank claims

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Media captionIan Birrell, contributing editor at the Daily Mail, and Tim Montgomerie, comment editor at the Times, discuss the morning's newspapers.

A handshake between Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry is pictured on several front pages.

It sealed the deal - declared "historic" by much of the press - between the two nations which it is hoped will see Iran curb some of its nuclear activities in return for about $7bn (£4.3bn) in sanctions relief.

Elsewhere, Royal Bank of Scotland is under fire in the Daily Mail and the i after a report said it put some "good and viable" businesses into default for profit.

Discussing the papers for the BBC's News Channel, Ian Birrell, contributing editor at the Daily Mail, said that if true, the allegations made against RBS would be "incredibly serious".

Comment editor of the Times Tim Montgomerie added: "Just as you thought that banks' reputations couldn't fall any lower. If this story's true, it's about to go not just to rock bottom, but start drilling."

The sport pages, meanwhile, are dominated by two tales of woe - England's cricketers after their first Ashes Test defeat, and Tottenham Hotspur, crushed 6-0 by Manchester City.

In from the cold?

Image caption Prince Harry (centre) and his team have been snowed in at their base camp in the Antarctic - the start of the Walking with the Wounded trek has been delayed until Tuesday at the earliest

Virtually every paper discusses the US-Iran deal, and in general, the mood appears to be one of cautious optimism.

The Financial Times' leader column, while listing some caveats, says: "It provides the first hope that this huge security challenge might be resolved by diplomacy, not war."

"If it succeeds, it has the power to reshape the Middle East," says the Guardian, but it warns the US Congress or Israel could potentially scupper it - the former by passing more sanctions, the latter by resorting to military force.

Among the more equivocal voices in the press is Richard Spencer, the Daily Telegraph's Middle East correspondent, who wonders if a superpower has ever struck a deal like this before "in defiance of its most closely affected allies". He says some will inevitably view this as evidence of the US "in retreat".

Robert Fisk, writing in the Independent, feels similarly, saying the deal will give "substantial hope to Bashar al-Assad that he will be left in power in Syria". He says it "proves that the West has no intention - far into the future - of undertaking military action in the region".

One very definitely unhappy voice is that of the Times which brands it "a bad agreement". It says sanctions "should not have been eased till Tehran dismantled, rather than merely halted, activities that could help it acquire the bomb".

Immigration debate

As it has done for several days, discussion continues in the papers about the expected surge in immigration from Bulgaria and Romania in the New Year.

The Daily Express says 150,000 of its readers have backed its "crusade" against the planned lifting of immigration restrictions on those countries. Its leader column warns of immigrants "filling schools and hospitals" and "taking jobs", declaring their arrival "a disaster in the making".

The Sun is on the same side as the Express, stating: "No one knows how many Bulgarians and Romanians are going to arrive after January 1. But we know why many will be coming here. It's not for the weather." It believes the UK's "lavish welfare payments" are the big draw and that's what David Cameron must stop.

Patrick Wintour, Guardian political editor, says the Liberal Democrats are resisting Tory demands for benefits curbs, but the Daily Mail thinks the PM should press ahead anyway "and tell Nick Clegg and Brussels to do their worst".

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, in the Independent, meanwhile, argues that the immigration row shows the Tories "have forgotten who they are". A pro-business, pro-aspiration party must realise, she says, that "even if every British [benefit] claimant was to become an efficient worker, a globalised, 21st Century economy cannot grow without migrant labour".

Image caption Hiding won't help. Tottenham Hotspur's 6-0 drubbing by Man City features on most of Monday's back pages

Lotto break-ups

News that a second couple have split up not long after a whopping Lottery win is taken as proof by the papers of the old adage, money can't buy you love.

Psychologist Dr Sylvia McVeigh, tells the Daily Mirror that "people often underestimate the stresses and strains coming into a lot of money can bring". It can leave you isolated, she says, and struggling "to trust the motives of those who had previously been close".

The Daily Express says the latest Lottery casualties, Dave and Angela Dawes - who won £101m - drew up a list of 15 to 20 people they planned to make millionaires, but "it is understood this well-meaning promise led to bitter arguments about who should get a slice of their cash".

First draft

A newly discovered first draft of George VI's wartime famous address - made famous by the film The King's Speech - makes several papers.

Image caption Kicked into touch. Rugby star Ben Cohen is the latest to be booted out of Strictly Come Dancing

The Times says the document, written by civil servant Harold Vale Rhodes, shows "Britain was preparing to declare war on Nazi Germany even before Hitler invaded Poland". On a more prosaic level, "a pencilled note in the margin criticises the length of some of the sentences".

The Daily Mirror says the level of advanced planning demonstrated by the draft "is a stark contrast to the way the announcement is made in the 2010 movie... in which Colin Firth's stammering character is given little time to prepare".

Grieve defended

On Saturday, Attorney General Dominic Grieve told the Daily Telegraph corruption was "endemic" in some ethnic minority communities and politicians should take the issue more seriously.

The remarks provoked anger and he later apologised, but Monday's edition of the same paper says he had no need to do so.

It says Mr Grieve was "seeking to point out that we are all under the law, whatever our background and origins", and any suggestion he was trying to "deliberately stoke up racial tensions in order to counter UKIP's anti-immigration rhetoric is absurd".

The paper criticises his Conservative colleagues for their "lack of support", adding: "It is dispiriting that when a decent politician tries to make a well-intentioned point, the roof should fall in on him and he is placed under pressure to say sorry for something that does not warrant an apology."