Live updates: UN General Assembly votes in favour of Iran deal With a US of vetoes, the UN General Assembly has approved the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for the first time. Also, Canada’s new prime minister announces that he is changing course on the deal.
12:57pm EST, March 16: The UN General Assembly has approved the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for the first time. It now needs a simple majority vote of 128 in favour before it is ready to go into force.
There are three countries from the Islamic Republic of Iran to cast their votes: US President Donald Trump, who is against the deal; Germany, whose President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a hardliner, has said he wants “a strict inspection regime”; and France.
Read more: Iran deal: What happens now?
The US has a veto on the matter, meaning it can block any legislation that puts it back in Tehran’s crosshairs. But the Trump administration isn’t expected to put Iran back on the list of countries that it considers to have a military footprint on its borders.
The deal itself is very vague. The final version includes some restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, which has been a source of tension with the US ever since it was lifted in 2015. It would cap Iran’s uranium enrichment, which it says is for peaceful purposes, at around 3.67% and limit enriched uranium that is further processed to just 3%. These thresholds have been agreed between Iran and the P5+1 countries that have been negotiating the deal – the US, China, France, Russia and Britain – and are expected to be finalised when the deal becomes a UN treaty on November 4.
Iran has already begun to dismantle some components of the nuclear infrastructure it built, though its ability to continue using nuclear power is limited. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed in December that it had detected no activity for five years after a reactor at Fordow was shut down in 2013. But the agency said it had detected increased levels of uranium conversion at the site, which it attributed to uranium enrichment.
Iran says it is in compliance with the