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U.N. Security Council Votes Unanimously In Favor Of Iran Deal

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal struck between Iran, the United States and five other world powers, the AP and Reuters are reporting.

Under the terms of the deal, the toughest sanctions put in place against Iran by the world body would be dismantled in exchange for restrictions on some of the country's nuclear activities.

This means the deal — which faces stiff opposition from Republican lawmakers and Israel — has cleared its first hurdle and the sanctions will be lifted after Iran complies with some of the terms.

Congress is now also reviewing the deal and will likely have an up or down vote before its 60-day review period elapses. Under law, however, President Obama will only need a third of the House and Senate to stand with him in order for the deal to move forward.

As The New York Times reports, some lawmakers have balked at the idea that the U.N. Security Council would vote before they did:

"[Secretary of State John] Kerry expressed little sympathy on Sunday for congressional demands that the Security Council delay its vote, insisting that lawmakers will still have ample opportunity to carry out their review.

"A provision inserted into the agreement at the behest of American negotiators, he said, stipulates that the deal will not take effect until 90 days after the Security Council formally endorses the accord — giving Congress time for action.

"Mr. Kerry, a former senator from Massachusetts, scolded some of his erstwhile colleagues. 'It's presumptuous of some people to suspect that France, Russia, China, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do,' he said on ABC's 'This Week.'"

The U.N. vote comes on the same day that the U.S. and Cuba reopened embassies in Havana and Washington, D.C.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is also running for president, called today "capitulation Monday."

"History will remember July 20, 2015, as Obama's Capitulation Monday, the day two sworn enemies of the United States were able to out-maneuver President Obama to secure historic concessions," Rubio said in a statement. "Monday's events at the U.N., Washington and Havana leave no doubt that we have entered the most dangerous phase of the Obama presidency in which the president is flat-out‎ abandoning America's vital national security interests to cozy up to the world's most reprehensible regimes."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.