Nuclear deal wins final Iran approval

Council gives go ahead to implement landmark deal with world powers with sanctions due to be lifted by early 2016

Ali Larijani
The landmark deal with world powers will lift nuclear-related sanctions in return for Tehran [AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi]

Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers has won final approval in the Islamic republic with a top panel of jurists and clerics giving the green light, state news agency IRNA reported.

The Guardians Council, which ensures legislation does not violate Iran’s constitution and Islamic rules, approved on Wednesday a Tuesday parliamentary vote that endorsed the deal curbing Iran’s atomic programme in exchange for an end to sanctions.

Nejatollah Ebrahimian, the council’s spokesman, said the body approved the parliamentary bill implementing the deal “by an absolute majority of the votes.” He did not offer a voting breakdown. The council meets behind closed doors.

Some council “members raised objections to the bill and found it contrary to the constitution. There were debates,” state television quoted Ebrahimian as saying. “At the end, a majority of the council members voted that the parliamentary legislation is not against the constitution and Shariah law.”

The vote came after fierce debate over the terms of the July 14 accord, which has faced a rough ride from hardliners in both Tehran and the US Congress.

Sanctions lifted by December

Lawmakers in the US and Iran had insisted on voting on it.

The deal will lift nuclear-related sanctions in return for Tehran, which has always denied seeking an atomic bomb, curbing its nuclear activities.

Members of Congress failed in September to torpedo the deal, with President Barack Obama securing enough support in the Senate to protect the agreement.

Iranian officials have said sanctions should be lifted by the end of the year or January at the latest.

However, Iran also has to satisfy the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, of the exclusively peaceful nature of its atomic programme.

The IAEA faces a December 15 reporting deadline to resolve what it had termed “ambiguities” over Iran’s past nuclear activities.

Source: News Agencies