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Iran's top security council holds back on nuclear deal review

DUBAI - The secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) indicated on Thursday that it has nearly finished examining Tehran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers but will announce no conclusion before the US Congress does.
The SNSC and parliament are both perusing the text of the July 14 pact mandating Iran to curb its nuclear work in exchange for a removal of sanctions, mirroring Congress which has the right to approve or reject it in a vote to be taken by Sept. 17.
"We are in the final stages of examining the deal in the Supreme National Security Council," SNSC secretary Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
"The results will be announced around the same time that the P5+1 announces theirs," he was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA, referring to the six global powers that reached the diplomatic breakthrough with the Islamic Republic.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the ultimate power in Iran to clear or sink the deal, has so far refrained from commenting decisively on the matter, although he has said he does not trust the United States to honor its commitments.
The SNSC is headed by President Hassan Rouhani, a relative pragmatist who won Khamenei's approval to negotiate an end to a volatile nuclear stand-off with the West and has championed the outcome of the talks. But there are also skeptics among the other 12 SNSC members, who include senior figures in government and the hardline security establishment.
Iran's parliament voted in June, before the deal was struck, to give the SNSC the right to issue a verdict on it. But some lawmakers still insist on their right to review the text, and parliament on Wednesday appointed 15 MPs to an ad hoc committee to do just that.
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