Iran Lawmakers Demand All Sanctions Be Lifted Before Nuclear Deal Signed
A week and a half ago, Iran stressed its “principle position" in nuclear talks "is that all sanctions are lifted at once,” as stated by senior nuclear negotiator and deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi.
Today, with negotiators back at the table with Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland, Iranian lawmakers "overwhelmingly demanded the removal of all sanctions against the country as a prerequisite for the implementation of any comprehensive nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1," according to state-owned Press TV.
The statement from 260 lawmakers -- there are 290 seats in the Islamic Consultative Assembly -- said not only do all sanctions need to be lifted before a deal is signed, but the UN Security Council needs to close its nuclear case on Iran.
The lawmakers "called on the Iranian negotiating team to strongly defend the nation’s dignity and strength and stand firm against the U.S. deceit and excessive demands," according to Press TV.
“As a guarantee for implementation, in case of any violation of obligations by the opposite side, the agreement will be declared null and void and enrichment will be resumed at any required level,” the lawmakers wrote.
State Department press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday that "obviously, the timing or process of any sanctions and when they would be rolled back is not yet determined."
"...We would expect to retain many of the UN Security Council provisions even under a deal with Iran. Obviously, they're not all related to sanctions -- nuclear sanctions."
Psaki said "any UN Security Council resolution would likely include elements that would be adopted under Chapter 7 as any decision to suspend or modify the sanctions that were previously imposed by the council under Chapter 7 would require new council action under the chapter."
"Obviously, there would be action that would be taken by Congress at the appropriate time to roll back sanctions that are U.S. sanctions," she added.
Kerry said Saturday in Egypt that "sanctions alone can't achieve" the "guarantee that Iran's program, its nuclear program, will be peaceful now and peaceful forever."
"We need a verifiable set of commitments. And we need an agreed-upon plan that obviously provides the access and the opportunity to be able to know what is happening so that you can have confidence that the program is, indeed, peaceful," he said. "That's what we're negotiating about. And we need to cover every potential pathway -- uranium, plutonium, covert -- that there might exist towards a weapon, and only an agreement can do that."
Press TV said the Iranian legislators demanded that any agreement preserve the country's nuclear rights.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told reporters Sunday that it "should be made clear" in negotiations "how the sanctions will be removed and what guarantees are provided for the agreement."
Iran Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said today that the fallout over the open letter sent by 47 GOP senators to the ayatollahs in Tehran proves "the Islamic system has powerfully stood up against the superpowers and it has shaken the U.S. ruling structure and thought," the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.