Final approval for nuclear deal

Iran’s Guardian Council gave its approval Wednesday to the landmark international accord that would lift certain economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for constraints on its nuclear program.

The vote by the council of clerics and legal experts followed action Tuesday by the Iranian parliament.

Those votes, along with the failure of Republican-led efforts in Congress to scuttle the deal, open the way for implementation of the wide-ranging pact, a centerpiece of President Obama’s foreign policy agenda.

Both approvals in Iran were widely expected, despite opposition to the deal from hard-liners opposed to any opening to the West. Iranian lawmakers approved the plan by a large margin after contentious debate.

Analysts say Iran would not have agreed to the accord with six world powers, including the U.S., if the nation’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had not signed off.

He has not directly endorsed the nuclear deal, and has maintained his harsh criticism of the United States. He has ruled out further negotiations with Washington.

But Khamenei has not rejected the accord outright and has praised the work of the negotiating team of President Hassan Rowhani, who has made it the major priority of his presidency. The deal has raised hopes among many in Iran for better economic times.

Iran reserved the right to ramp up “peaceful” nuclear activities if there’s a “violation” by other parties to the deal.

Los Angeles Times