Iran approves the deal

Iran’s conservative-dominated parliament passed a bill on Tuesday approving its nuclear deal with world powers, signaling victory for the government over hardline opponents who worry the accord opens a door to wider rapprochement with the West. Many conservative lawmakers opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that President Hassan Rouhani’s government agreed with the six powers on July 14, and the vote — which followed a bad-tempered, rowdy debate on Sunday — lifts a significant hurdle to putting the deal into effect. With strong parliamentary backing, the bill is likely to be ratified by a clerical body called the Guardian Council. The exact stance of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all matters of state, is not known. To date, he has neither approved nor rejected the agreement, but has commended the work of Rouhani’s negotiating team. Provided Khamenei does not openly oppose it, many expect Iran will begin shutting down parts of its nuclear program in coming weeks. When completed, that process will result in most international sanctions, imposed on Iran since 2006 over concerns it was covertly seeking atomic bombs, being lifted”.

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