The Iranian parliament approved Sunday an outline to a bill that would allow the Iranian government to implement the nuclear deal it signed with the world powers back in July.
According to the country's official state news agency IRNA, the bill was approved by 139 to 100. The Iran nuclear deal would see the Iran keeping its civil nuclear program in exchange for lifting of all sanctions imposed on the country since 1979 by the United States, the United Nations and other Western countries.
The approved bill allows the Iranian government to withdraw from implementing the nuclear agreement if world powers do not lift sanctions, IRNA said. The bill is now set for a second and final vote later this week.
“The government should stop its voluntary cooperation in implementation of the deal if the other side fails to remain committed to lifting sanctions,” the Iranian bill says. The same goes if new sanctions are imposed or previous ones restored, the bill adds.
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The bill also states that international inspections of military sites under the nuclear deal should be approved by a top Iranian security body.
During the session, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's lead negotiator during the talks, who landed the historic deal with the six world powers, addressed the parliament ahead of the vote and defended the deal, saying Iran had achieved its goals.
"They (world powers) didn't want us to be in the nuclear club, but we are in it, thanks to God," Zarif said in the session, aired live by state media. "History will show that we dominated the negotiations."
Meanwhile, some lawmakers, among the 100 who voted against the deal, were not convinced that Iran came on top.
"This team failed to get the rights of the Iranian people from the American wolves," conservative lawmaker Alireza Zakani said in a heated debate preceding the vote.
While President Hassan Rouhani had wanted to bypass parliament entirely, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he wanted the legislative body to review the deal to have a say.
If it passes, the deal would help Iran improve its economy, which has been curbed by decades of heavy sanctions. It would also mean that Iran would keep its nuclear program while at the same time calming the West's fears about Iran possessing a nuclear weapon.
All the world powers that negotiated with Tehran have nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Russia having the biggest share, with more than 7,000 atomic warheads each.
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