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Iran's Zarif Defends Nuclear Deal In Parliament

Iranian Foreign Minster Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at a parliament session in Tehran on July 21.

Addressing Iran's lawmakers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has defended what he said was a "balanced" nuclear deal with world powers.

Under the deal agreed in Vienna on July 14, sanctions that have hampered Iran's economy will be gradually removed in return for Tehran accepting long-term curbs on its nuclear program.

"We don't say the deal is totally in favor of Iran," Zarif, who led Iran's negotiating team, told the conservative-dominated parliament on July 21. "Any negotiation is a give and take."

He said most if not all of Iran's "red lines" had been preserved.

Lawmakers voted to appoint a 15-member committee to evaluate the text of the accord. Its members are yet to be selected.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all state affairs in Iran, has said it will have to be carefully scrutinized to ensure national interests are preserved.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP