Foreign Ministry’s Views Missing in Majlis Anti-Sanction Bill

Foreign Ministry’s Views Missing in Majlis Anti-Sanction Bill Foreign Ministry’s Views Missing in Majlis Anti-Sanction Bill

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has expressed opposition to a parliament bill on countering sanctions, saying it fails to take the ministry’s expert views into account. 
“We regret that our views are not reflected in the bill and the Majlis has moved in a different direction,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a regular press briefing on Tuesday, IRNA reported.  
He added that lawmakers are undoubtedly seeking to uphold the nation’s rights, but the Foreign Ministry is not sure whether the bill will achieve that objective. 
“The government has explicitly emphasized that it does not agree with this bill because it is not essential and beneficial, nor is it certain if people’s rights would be preserved by these measures,” he said. 
In separate comments at a press conference on Tuesday, Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei also said the Cabinet is opposed to the parliamentary bill, as it would not help lift the sanctions.
“While the main concern of the parliament has been to remove sanctions with the new bill, such measures would make the sanctions permanent,” he warned.
The parliament has prepared a nine-article bill on “strategic measures for the removal of sanctions”, which tasks the government with taking nuclear measures if the benefits promised under the 2015 nuclear agreement are not guaranteed by the deal’s parties within a specific timeframe. 
Tough sanctions were reimposed on Tehran by the United States after it withdrew unilaterally from the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in 2018. 
Iran remains deprived of its rights, given the remaining parties’ failure to offset the effects of US restrictive measures. It eventually scaled down its commitments until it can enjoy those benefits once again. 
The bill, however, requires the Iranian government to suspend more commitments under the deal and curtail cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. 



Outlines Approved 

Lawmakers on Tuesday endorsed the outlines and two articles of the strategic action plan, following the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. 
Abolfazl Amouei, spokesman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said in the parliamentary session that the plan aims to open the locks placed on the country’s nuclear program and advance the goals of nuclear martyrs such as Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
The plan, Amouei said, also seeks to make imposing sanctions against the Iranian people a “costly” measure for Western countries.
Article 5, which was passed on Tuesday, urges the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to design and install a new 40-megawatt heavy water reactor for the production of medical radioisotopes in Arak nuclear plant, which was supposed to be re-designed and optimized under JCPOA and submit the schedule to the legislature within a month of the law’s adoption. 
More controversially, however, Article 6, also passed on Tuesday, requires the government to stop voluntary adherence to the Additional Protocol of the IAEA’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement a month after the bill’s adoption, if JCPOA parties fail to lift all banking and oil sanctions against Iran. 
Under the law, the administration will have to comply with the protocol only on condition that Iran’s banking relations are normalized, impediments to Iran’s petroleum exports are completely removed and the foreign exchange revenue can be repatriated quickly and completely.    
The Additional Protocol is a supplementary to CSA and grants the agency greater inspection authority.
Rabiei said the administration believes that the issue is within the purview of the Supreme National Security Council, as no branch of power is allowed to make decisions about JCPOA and Tehran’s nuclear program independently.
Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna had earlier advised Iran against ceasing adherence, saying that “the protocol is in the interests of everyone, including Tehran”.
“Emotions don’t always help to find the right decision,” Mikhail Ulyanov added. 

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