Iranian parliament approves nuclear deal with world powers

13 Oct 2015


Iran's parliament on Monday approved a historic nuclear deal with major powers, including United States, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, effectively ending debate among lawmakers over the agreement and paving the way for its formal implementation.

The motion to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was passed with 161 votes in favour, 59 against and with 13 abstentions, the official IRNA news agency said.

On 14 July 2015, the six major powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran clinched a deal to ensure Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of discord with the West.

The agreement was struck after almost two years of diplomacy but lawmakers in the United States and Tehran insisted on voting on it.

The deal, which will lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its atomic activities, which the Islamic republic denies are aimed at making weapons, has received a rocky ride in the US and Iran.

However, US lawmakers finally sealed the deal despite threats by Republican-led Congress in September to torpedo the deal.

In Tehran, ultraconservative lawmakers repeatedly warned of holes in the text of the agreement and criticised President Hassan Rouhani for suggesting MPs were deliberately delaying the deal.

While passing the deal, Rouhani's government said its negotiators protected the future of Iran's nuclear programme while ensuring sanctions that have ravaged its economy, would end.

Till Sunday, the Iranian parliament was the scene of fiery clashes over the deal, which, lawmakers claimed was a surrender to the West. The climbdown followed the so-called red lines laid down by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Supreme National Security Council that he oversees.

Today's motion, titled "Iran's Plan for Reciprocal and Proper Action in Implementing JCPOA" allows the government to proceed, IRNA reported.

Iranian officials have said sanctions should be lifted by the end of the year or January 2016 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 15 December reporting deadline to resolve what it had termed "ambiguities" over Iran's past nuclear activities.

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