UN Council endorses Iran deal, paves way to lift sanctions


UN Security Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution that endorses the historic deal on Iran’s nuclear programme and clears a path for international sanctions crippling its economy to be lifted. Representatives of all 15 countries on the council voted by raising their hands.

“The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously,” announced New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully, who presided over the Security Council for the Iran meeting.

The passing of the resolution marks formal UN endorsement for the hard-won, groundbreaking agreement reached between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group after 18 straight days of talks that capped almost two years of momentous negotiations.

On condition that Iran respects the agreement to the letter, seven UN resolutions passed since 2006 to sanction Iran will be gradually terminated, according to the text.

The agreement with Tehran was reached last Tuesday in Vienna by the UN council’s five permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany.

The text launches a progressive and conditional lifting of sanctions, in exchange for guarantees that the Islamic republic will not develop a nuclear bomb.

“When our nations truly unite to confront global crises, our influence grows exponentially,” said US ambassador Samantha Power, calling for similar collaboration on other problems such as the suffering in Syria. “It should motivate us to do far more.”

China’s Ambassador Liu Jieyi also welcomed the vote and called it ‘first important step’ towards implementing the deal reached in Vienna.

The resolution calls for ‘full implementation on the timetable established’ of the agreement and urges UN member countries to facilitate the process.

The council charges the UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to ‘undertake the necessary verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear commitments’. Those commitments include limiting the number of centrifuges for its fissile material. The resolution demands that Iran ‘cooperate fully’ with the IAEA.

As soon as the council receives an IAEA report confirming nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, the seven UN sanctions resolutions against Tehran will be terminated and replaced by the terms of on Monday’s resolution.

Those sanctions to be lifted include a ban on the trade of goods or services linked to Iranian nuclear activities, and the freezing of financial assets of designated Iranian officials and companies.