[JURIST] A group of top Iranian jurists and theologians approved the nuclear deal with world powers on Wednesday, marking the completion of the last step before implementation of the deal may begin. The Iranian Parliament accepted [JURIST report] the nuclear agreement on Tuesday and moved the process on to the Guardian Council [BBC backgrounder], which determined [FRE/RL report] the legislation was consistent with the constitution and Islamic law. The nuclear agreement is now law in Iran, and Iran has the power to withdraw if world powers do not hold up their end of the deal regarding the lifting of economic sanctions. Officials request that the sanctions be removed by January at the latest. Iran has yet to satisfy [Al Jazeera report] the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, and the IAEA must report on the matter by December 15.
The nuclear agreement was reached in July 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.