UN Starts Down Path Toward Lifting Iran Sanctions
Security council unanimously approves resolution
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 20, 2015 10:13 AM CDT
Members of the Security Council vote at United Nations headquarters, Monday, July 20, 2015.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – The UN Security Council today unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and authorized a series of measures leading to the end of UN sanctions that have hurt Iran's economy. The New York Times points out that this resolution, which was approved 15-0, concerns only UN sanctions, not those put in place by the EU and US. But the EU today also approved the deal, which means the gears are turning on the rollback of its own sanctions. Per the Times, the UN's resolution goes into effect in 90 days, a period designed to give Congress time to consider the deal; should Congress throw a wrench in things, the possibility exists that the whole deal could fall apart.

Many key penalties on the Iranian economy imposed by the UN, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year. The document specifies that seven resolutions related to UN sanctions will be terminated when Iran has completed a series of major steps to curb its nuclear program and the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that "all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities." The measure also provides a mechanism for UN sanctions to "snap back" in place if Iran fails to meet its obligations. All provisions of the UN resolution will terminate in 10 years, including the snap back provision, though the six major powers—the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany—and the European Union last week agreed to extend the snap back mechanism for an additional five years.