The UN Security Council [official website] on Monday unanimously approved [Resolution 2331, PDF; press release] a nuclear agreement [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), text] with Iran, lifting some economic sanctions in exchange for the country reducing its nuclear program and allowing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] inspections. The JCPOA outlines details of the agreement, in which Iran agreed not remove two-thirds of its centrifuges, ship all spent fuel from the reactor out of the country, and limit uranium research and development to a single facility. The Iranian Parliament [official website, in Persian], as well as those of the US and other countries imposing sanctions on Iran still must approve the deal.
This nuclear agreement was reached after the 20-month negotiations continued through several deadlines [JURIST reports] in hopes of progress. Over the past several years Iran has been subject to numerous sanctions for its contentious nuclear program. Iranian leaders have repeatedly claimed [JURIST report] that the developing nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the international community, Israel in particular, worries that Iran’s enrichment program was designed for military purposes. The US and France agreed [JURIST report] in March to strengthen nuclear talks with Iran to persuade the nation to restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions and in April Iran agreed [JURIST report] to a framework deal to restrict its nuclear plan. A report obtained by the Associated Press in July from the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] showed [JURIST report] that Iran has been keeping its commitment as part of a preliminary nuclear deal from 2013 barring Iran from expanding nuclear programs during negotiations.