Iran's official news agency is reporting that the Islamic Republic's military chief has backed a landmark nuclear deal with world powers despite having concerns over it.

Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, a close ally of Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spoke of 16 advantages of the deal, a major endorsement that may push conservatives to join moderates in supporting the agreement despite growing opposition from hard-liners. The official IRNA news agency reported his comments Saturday.

Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, has not publicly approved or disapproved the deal. However, he repeatedly has offered words of support for his country's nuclear negotiators.

Iran's parliament and the Supreme National Security Council, the country's highest security decision-making body, are to consider the agreement in the coming days.