UN, EU endorse Iran nuke deal, pave way to lift sanctions

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jul 20, 2015 23:11 IST

Last week’s Iran deal picked up critical endorsements on Monday from the UN Security Council and the European Union that may likely force skeptics in the US to reconsider.

The Security Council voted unanimously to end sanctions imposed on Iran starting December 2006 to stop its nuclear weapons programme. The sanctions will go in 90 days.

The European Union endorsed the deal earlier in a vote in Brussels. But it’s likely to retain human rights-related sanctions and continue to not sell conventional weapons to Iran.

Though India supported and recognized only the UN-mandated sanctions, it was forced to toe the line on the rest with the US threatening to block dissenters from its financial system.

Iran agreed to long-term restrictions on its nuclear programme in return for lifting of US, UN, and EU sanctions in an agreement with P5+1 last week that has been hailed as historic.

For the deal to work, all three sets of sanctions must go.

The US sanctions, some of which were mandated by its congress, may prove to be the most difficult to sunset given Republican opposition to the deal here.

They control both chamber of congress, which has 60 days to review the deal and approve it or vote it down, but its disapproval needs two-third support to carry.

For the world powers to begin rolling back sanctions, the International Atomic Energy Agency must inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities and certify it has taken the required steps.

Once the process starts, all seven previous resolutions of the Security Council that mandated the sanctions will be ended and measures under the Monday resolution will take effect.

Iran can buy ballistic missile technology and heavy weapon with Security Council’s approval — after the eight and five year moratorium periods, but the US has said it will veto them.

The resolution prohibits the sale of nuclear technology for peaceful use to Iran for thinnest 10 years; and allows for the sanctions to be snapped back if Iran breached the deal.

The sanctions will be back with a vote of the security council within 30 days of a complaint of breach. They will be in force automatically if the council fails to take a vote in 30 days.

(With inputs from agencies)

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