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Aug 29, 1:27 PM EDT

Iran president opposes parliament vote on nuclear deal


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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday he opposes a parliamentary vote on the landmark nuclear deal reached with world powers because terms of the agreement would turn into legal obligations if passed by lawmakers.

Rouhani told a news conference that the deal was a political understanding reached with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, not a pact requiring parliamentary approval. The deal also says Iran would implement the terms voluntarily, he said.

The historic deal calls for limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

"If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government . it will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it," Rouhani said. "Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?"

A special committee of parliament has already begun studying the deal before putting it to a vote. But the legality of such a move is in doubt because the government has not prepared a bill for parliament to vote on.

The president said a parliamentary vote would benefit the U.S. and its allies, not Iran.

Rouhani said the Supreme National Security Council, the country's highest security decision-making body, was almost finished analyzing the agreement. The council works independently from the parliament.

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