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Iranian Guardian Council Gives Final Approval To Nuclear Deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (right) meets with U.N. nuclear chief Yukiya Amano (left) and an unidentified interpreter in Tehran, Iran, last month to discuss the country's nuclear program.

Iran's Guardian Council on Wednesday approved the deal intended to control Iran's nuclear program. The approval is a final step before implementation, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

The 12-member group of senior clerics' OK followed passage by Iran's Parliament on Tuesday.

The Associated Press reports:

"Nejatollah Ebrahimian, the council's spokesman, said the body approved the parliamentary bill implementing the deal 'by an absolute majority of the votes.' He did not offer a voting breakdown. The council meets behind closed doors.

"Some council 'members raised objections to the bill and found it contrary to the constitution. There were debates,' state television quoted Ebrahimian as saying. 'At the end, a majority of the council members voted that the parliamentary legislation is not against the constitution and Shariah law.' "

The deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is an agreement met in July by six world powers and Iran that would limit the country's nuclear development in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani's administration hailed Tuesday's parliamentary vote as a "historic decision," as NPR's Laura Wagner reported:

"There were 161 votes in favor of the bill, 59 votes against and 13 abstentions, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency."

So what happens next?

According to the IRNA:

"The legislation requires the government to implement it voluntarily under supervision of the Iran Supreme National Security Council."

The bill also "allows Iran to withdraw from the agreement if world powers do not lift sanctions, impose new sanctions or restore previous ones," the AP adds.

And, as the Two-Way has reported:

"According to the European Council on Foreign Relations' reading of the deal, the accord is expected to be adopted on Oct. 19, or 'Adoption Day.' That would mark 90 days since the U.N. Security Council signed off on the deal. (The European Union also approved the deal in July.)

"At this point, the U.S. and Europe would draft a plan to drop a series of nuclear-related sanctions. But Iran wouldn't receive sanctions relief until after 'Implementation Day.'

"According to Reuters, Implementation Day happens after the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that Iran 'has complied with nuclear-related measures.' "

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