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July 20, 2015

Europe to back Iran nuclear deal in signal to U.S. Congress

The European Union will approve the Iran nuclear deal with world powers on Monday, a first step toward lifting Europe's economic sanctions against Tehran that the bloc hopes will send a signal that the U.S. Congress will follow.

EU foreign ministers were meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss the deal reached last week. The U.N. Security Council was also likely to vote to support it in a resolution later in the day.

"Today we expect the Security Council to endorse the agreement and we will do the same in the (Foreign Affairs) Council today with the ministers," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters as she arrived for the meeting.

The EU will eventually lift its economic and financial sanctions and may reopen an EU delegation in Tehran, but will retain its ban on the supply of ballistic missile technology and sanctions related to human rights, EU diplomats said.

The U.S. Congress received the Iran nuclear agreement on Sunday and it will have 60 days from Monday to decide whether to approve or reject the deal.