The Iranian parliament passed a bill outlining the country’s “nuclear rights” as the deadline for a final agreement on their nuclear program approaches at the end of this month.
The bill would prevent any inspections of military sites, forbid the IAEA from interviewing its nuclear scientists, and insist that all sanctions on Iran be lifted at the time they begin implementation of the deal.
Administration talking points released after the framework deal was agreed to state that sanctions would be lifted over several years, that all sites deemed “suspicious” would be open to inspection, and that the IAEA would investigate previous efforts by Iran to build a nuclear weapon. This would necessitate interviewing Iranian scientists, something the Iranians have now taken off the table.
The Iranian semi-official news organ Press TV:
During an open session of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) on Sunday, 199 lawmakers voted in favor and only 3 voted against the bill. Five MPs abstained.
“In line with safeguarding national interests [of Iran] and in compliance with the Safeguards Agreement of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, any outcome of nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 countries shall be valid as long as” three requirements are met, read the text of the bill.
It said any agreement with the six powers should include the complete and immediate removal of all sanctions against Iran “on the day Iran starts fulfilling its obligations.”
Iranian lawmakers added that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be only permitted to “conduct conventional inspections” of Iran’s nuclear facilities within the framework of the Safeguards Agreement, noting that access to Iran’s “military, security and sensitive non-nuclear sites, documents and scientists is forbidden.”
The bill also calls on the Iranian government not to accept any restrictions on acquisition of peaceful nuclear technology, research and development.
Addressing the session, Iran’s Majlis speaker, Ali Larijani, said the bill has been amended to give a free hand to Iranian nuclear negotiating team within the framework of criteria set by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and the Supreme National Security Council.
The bill’s stipulation that Iran not accept any restrictions on its acquisition of technology flies in the face of the administration claim that the Iranians will be unable to install their next generation centrifuges. Those newer centrifuges would allow Iran to “break out” by building a bomb in a matter of weeks, not months.
It appears now that the framework deal was a mirage with both sides claiming an understanding of the agreement in direct opposition to what the other side’s understanding is.
You would think that what the Iranian parliament has done would be a deal killer. In order for a deal to be reached, the US will have to make massive concessions. But this deal is no longer about stopping Iran from getting the bomb — if it ever was. This is about securing Obama’s legacy and allowing us to pretend that the Iranian nuclear program has been checked.