Majlis Approval of JCPOA Inexpedient

Majlis Approval of JCPOA InexpedientMajlis Approval of JCPOA Inexpedient

Abbas Araqchi, a senior nuclear negotiator, sees ratification by the Majlis of last month's nuclear deal with major powers as contrary to national interests.         

Pursuant to a parliamentary bill, the accord, reached with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) in Vienna, is to undergo review by the Majlis and the Supreme National Security Council before taking effect in a few months.

Araqchi, who is the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, said approval of the deal by Parliament will make it binding as a law while it is, in fact, an agreement on some "voluntary" measures and none of P5+1 members is considering to make it law.

"Under Article 77 of the Constitution, any treaty should be brought before Parliament…. But some believe it does not apply to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (as the agreement is formally referred to)," Araqchi said.

"Because it is a series of agreed voluntary measures and does not fit the definition of a treaty, hence obviating the need for approval by Parliament," he was quoted by IRNA as saying in an interview broadcast live on state TV on Monday.

The JCPOA should not be subject to parliamentary approval as "it is against national interests," the deputy minister said.

The US Congress is considering the deal and has until September 17 to vote on a resolution of disapproval.

"Discussions at Congress are not meant to decide whether to approve the JCPOA. They, rather, focus on whether to reject it…. The pact, even if not rejected, will not ultimately become law and will be regarded as (a series of) voluntary measures," Araqchi noted.

  Restriction-Free Enrichment

Elsewhere, Araqchi, who had attended a special meeting of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on Sunday to answer questions on the nuclear accord, said as the deal stipulates Iran will develop an enrichment plan and present it to the International Atomic Energy Agency within three months, ICANA reported.

The text of the pact says, "Iran will abide by its voluntary commitments, as expressed in its own long-term enrichment and enrichment R&D plan to be submitted as part of the initial declaration for the (IAEA's) Additional Protocol to Iran's Safeguards Agreement."

Araqchi pointed out, "The JCPOA has placed an 8-year restriction on enrichment (activities), after which period Iran will be allowed to proceed based on its own (enrichment) program, without requiring the IAEA's approval."

"Iran's long term plan includes certain agreed limitations on all uranium enrichment and uranium enrichment-related activities including certain limitations on specific research and development activities for the first 8 years, to be followed by gradual evolution, at a reasonable pace, to the next stage of its enrichment activities for exclusively peaceful purposes," the accord states.

In line with the deal, a so-called Joint Commission comprised of representatives of Iran and other parties involved in negotiations will be appointed which will be responsible for consideration and resolution of any issue between the two sides arising from the implementation of the deal.

"A body should oversee how the two sides keep their side of the bargain. The IAEA is responsible for monitoring the implementation of Iran's commitments through visits to nuclear facilities while the Joint Commission is tasked with checking that the P5+1 are living up to their part of the agreement," the foreign ministry official said.

In compliance with the deal, the UN issued a resolution to endorse the pact and terminate its previous resolutions against Tehran.

Araqchi reassured the lawmakers about the terms of the UN Security Council's resolution, saying it puts no restriction on conducting missile tests.

"Definitely the resolution is not binding and even if it is, the violation of the resolution cannot be regarded as a violation of the deal."  

"Following the adoption of the resolution, the Foreign Ministry formally announced its refusal to recognize (parts of) the document (regarding defense capabilities)," he noted, adding, "None of our missiles is subject to the terms of the resolution because as stressed by military officials, our ballistic missiles have not been designed to carry nuclear warheads."