NEW YORK: The United Nations Security Council today endorsed a deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief, but it will be able to re-impose U.N. penalties during the next decade if Tehran breaches the historic agreement.

The 15-member body unanimously adopted a resolution that was negotiated as part of the agreement reached in Vienna last week between Iran and the world's major powers.

In return for lifting U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions, Iran will be subjected to long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West suspected was aimed at creating an atomic bomb, but which Tehran says is peaceful.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the deal would make the world "safer and more secure."

But she added that it "doesn't change our profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about instability Iran fuels ... from its support for terrorist proxies to its repeated threats against Israel, its other destabilising activities in the region."

Iran's U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo rejected the U.S. accusations as baseless and ironic.

"The country that invaded two countries in our region and created favourable grounds for the growth of terrorism and extremism is not well placed to raise such accusations against my country," he told the council.

Passage of the U.N. resolution triggers a complex set of coordinated steps agreed by Iran during nearly two years of talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union.