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Iranian parliament passes bill approving nuclear deal

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13 Oct 2015

Iran’s parliament passed a bill on Tuesday supporting a nuclear deal with world powers, signaling a victory for the government over conservative opponents of the agreement and clearing the way for it to be implemented.

Many lawmakers strongly opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that President Hassan Rouhani’s government reached with world powers on July 14, and Tuesday’s vote removes an obstacle to putting the agreement into practice.

“Members of parliament made a well-considered decision today showing they have a good understanding of the country’s situation,” government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said in a televised news conference after the vote.

The bill was passed with 161 votes for, 59 against and 13 abstentions, state news agency IRNA said. It had passed a preliminary vote on Sunday by a smaller margin, and will now be submitted to a clerical body for final approval and passage into law.

The bill stipulates that inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, need approval from a top Iranian security body before visiting military sites, leaving the possibility that disagreements could still arise.

Western diplomats said last month that IAEA inspectors, who are tasked with verifying member states are not developing nuclear weapons, will have access to military sites where Iranian technicians are taking swipe samples.

The bill also says Iran should resume its nuclear activities, which it is curbing under the JCPOA, if international sanctions are not lifted as agreed.

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