The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously endorsed the Iran nuclear deal, over the objections of US lawmakers who wanted the panel to wait until Congress formally reviews the landmark agreement.
Congress has 60 days to review the deal – and then vote for or against it, or take no action.
The vote Monday is the first formal step at the international body toward implementing the deal and rolling back UN sanctions.
The White House says the Security Council’s actions won’t take effect for another 90 days, but congressional lawmakers nevertheless had urged President Obama to halt Monday’s vote – and allow Congress to vote first.
However, the Obama administration argued that they were still showing deference to Congress, and that the UN shouldn’t be hamstrung during that review period.
“They have a right to [vote on the deal], honestly. It’s presumptuous of some people to suspect that France, Russia, China, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do,” Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC’s “This Week.” “They have a right to have a vote. But we prevailed on them to delay the implementation of that vote out of respect for our Congress so we wouldn’t be jamming them.”
Monday’s vote authorizes a series of measures leading to the end of UN sanctions that have hurt Iran’s economy. But the measure also provides a mechanism for both sides to “snap back” in place if the other party fails to meet its obligations.
The resolution had been agreed to by the five veto-wielding council members, who along with Germany negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. It was co-sponsored by all 15 members of the Security Council.
Under the nuclear agreement, Iran’s nuclear program will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of relief from international sanctions.