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Iran nuke deal gets unanimous U.N. backing

UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and adopted a series of measures leading to the end of U.N. sanctions that have hurt the Iranian economy.

The U.S.-drafted resolution was approved in a unanimous vote also provides a mechanism for U.N. sanctions to "snap back" in place if Iran fails to meet its obligations.

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The resolution had already been approved by the five veto-wielding council members, who along with Germany negotiated the deal with Iran to rein in its nuclear program. The 10 non-permanent council members were briefed on the draft and none objected to the text.

The vote took place at 9 a.m. Eastern, earlier than usual because European Union foreign ministers wanted the resolution adopted before their discussion on the Iran deal on Monday afternoon in Brussels.

Under the 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. Many key penalties on the Iranian economy, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year.

CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk explained that, while Monday's vote does make the Iran nuclear deal international law, full implementation of the measures will be delayed for 90 days, to allow for the U.S. Congress' consideration as promised by the Obama administration.

Falk explained that while Congress cannot block the implementation of the deal, if the legislative body votes against it and has enough votes to override a promised veto from President Obama, it could cause problems.

President Barack Obama said after the vote that it shows there is a broad consensus that the agreement is the best way to ensure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama told reporters Monday he's hopeful Congress "will pay attention to that broad-based consensus."

A U.S. official told CBS News that American law doesn't "trump" U.N. resolutions, but if Congress were to vote against the measure -- and garner enough votes to override a presidential veto -- lawmakers could stop U.S. sanctions being lifted, which could prompt Iran to declare the U.S. as non-compliant with the terms of the deal and to back out.

If U.S. lawmakers were to decide after Monday's vote that they wanted changes to the terms of the agreement, it would essentially be too late, because it would require the Security Council to propose a new resolution -- and there would likely be little appetite for such deliberations among the other negotiating partners.

Some U.S. lawmakers had asked the Security Council vote to be postponed.

The draft resolution specifies that seven resolutions related to U.N. sanctions will be terminated when Iran has completed a series of major steps to curb its nuclear program and the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that "all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities."

All provisions of the U.N. resolution will terminate in 10 years, including the snap back provision.

But the six major powers - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - and the European Union sent a letter, seen by The Associated Press, informing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that they have agreed to extend the snap back mechanism for an additional five years. They asked Ban to send the letter to the Security Council.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador, said the nuclear deal doesn't change the United States' "profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear program, from its support for terrorist proxies to repeated threats against Israel to its other destabilizing activities in the region."

She urged Iran to release three "unjustly imprisoned" Americans and to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who vanished in Iran in 2007.

"But denying Iran a nuclear weapon is important not in spite of these other destabilizing actions but rather because of them," Power said.

She quoted Obama saying the United States agreed to the deal because "an Iran with a nuclear weapon would be far more destabilizing and far more dangerous to our friends and to the world."

Iran's U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo, who reiterated that his country has never pursued nuclear weapons, stressed that "only through honoring commitments, displaying good faith and adopting the right approach can diplomacy prevail over conflict and war in a world that is replete with violence, suffering and oppression."

In this context, he said, the nuclear deal "provides a solid foundation for further and more effective diplomatic interaction."

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