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Iranian parliament approves nuclear agreement

After a contentious debate, it passed by 161 votes to 59.

By Ed Adamczyk
Iranian parliament approves nuclear agreement
Ali Larijani, leader of Iran's parliament, oversaw the vote Tuesday in which the nuclear agreement with six world powers was approved. Photo by Munich Security Conference/CC/Wikimedia

TEHRAN , Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The Iranian Parliament formally approved Tuesday the details of the nuclear agreement struck in July with six world powers.

The general outline was approved Sunday in a raucous debate. Tuesday's discussion was contentious as well, with hardliners opposing the deal and at least one fistfight on the parliament floor, the state news agency IRNA reported. It added hardline proponents were seen crying after the vote was taken; the measure passed by 161 to 59, with 13 abstentions.

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The bill, under which Iran agrees to a 10-year scaling back of its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions, now goes for review by the clerical, 12-person Guardian Council, which interprets Iran's constitution. The council can approve, reject or revise it and return it to parliament for consideration. It will then go before Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Opponents of the bill claimed they were allowed to debate only one of the about 100 amendments they had prepared, and one hardline member of the legislature, Mehdi Kouchakzedh, accused the head of parliament, Ali Larijani, with rigging the vote in advance and supervising the voting process without Khamenei's approval.

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The agreement has been supported by President Hassan Rouhani, who will be interviewed on Iranian television Tuesday to discuss the deal.

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