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UN endorses Iran nuclear deal with 6 world powers

Published:Monday | July 20, 2015 | 4:17 PM
Thomas Mayr-Harting (left), head of the delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, shakes hands with Iran's U.N. Ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, at United Nations headquarters yesterday


The United Nation (UN) Security Council yesterday unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and authorized 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.

Both US Ambassador Samantha Power and Iran's UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo called the agreement an important achievement for diplomacy, the Iranian promising to be "resolute in fulfilling its obligations" and the American pledging to be vigilant in ensuring they are carried out.

The resolution had been agreed to by the five veto-wielding council members who, along with Germany, negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. It was co-sponsored by all 15 members of the Security Council. The European Union's foreign ministers endorsed the agreement later Monday in Brussels and pledged to implement it.

Under the agreement, Iran's nuclear programme will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of relief from international sanctions. Many key penalties on the Iranian economy, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year.

The document specifies that seven resolutions related to UN sanctions will be terminated when Iran has completed a series of major steps to curb its nuclear programme and the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that "all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities".

All provisions of the UN resolution will terminate in 10 years, including the "snap back" provision on sanctions.

But last week, the six major powers - the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - and the European Union sent a letter, seen by The Associated Press, informing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that they have agreed to extend the snap back mechanism for an additional five years. They asked Ban to send the letter to the Security Council.