UNSC endorses Iran nuclear deal

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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Monday unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for relief from tough sanctions.

The resolution, co-sponsored by all 15 council members and adopted Monday morning, also authorizes a series of measures leading to the end of UN sanctions that have hurt Iran’s economy.

But the measure also provides a mechanism for UN sanctions to “snap back” in place if Iran fails to meet its obligations. The resolution had been agreed to by the five veto-wielding council members, who along with Germany negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran in Vienna last week.

In return for lifting US, EU and UN sanctions, Iran will be subjected to long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West suspected was aimed at creating an atomic bomb, but which Tehran says is peaceful.

Passage of the resolution triggers a complex set of coordinated steps agreed by Iran during nearly two years of talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union.

It says that no sanctions relief will be implemented until the International Atomic Energy Agency submits a report to the Security Council verifying that Iran has taken certain nuclear-related measures outlined in the agreement.

Under the deal, the major powers don’t need to take any further action for 90 days. Then they are required to begin preparations so they are able to lift sanctions as soon as the IAEA verification report is submitted.

US President Barack Obama’s administration has sent the nuclear agreement to Congress, which has the next 60 days to review it.

Once sanctions relief can be implemented, seven previous UN resolutions will be terminated and the measures contained in the resolution adopted on Monday will come into effect.