Speaker Expects Heated Majlis Debate on JCPOA

Speaker Expects Heated Majlis Debate on JCPOA Speaker Expects Heated Majlis Debate on JCPOA

The top lawmaker on Thursday predicted that the debate among parliamentarians on the nuclear agreement between Tehran and major powers will likely be more dramatic than in the US Congress, where Republicans have sought to kill the deal.

Ali Larijani, a former nuclear negotiator who is currently the Majlis speaker, told US reporters in New York that a parliamentary debate and vote on the deal, whose official title is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was a constitutional necessity, Reuters reported.

"I think maybe the drama in my country will be bigger than that of yours," he said. "There is one thing that I'm sure of and it is that there will be heated discussions and debates in the Iranian Parliament as well, because there are people who are opposed to the agreement, and they have different voices."

US President Barack Obama scored a major foreign policy victory on Wednesday by securing enough senate votes to protect the Iran nuclear deal in Congress. But Republicans pledged to keep up their fight against the pact with new sanctions on Tehran.

Larijani, in New York for a UN gathering of parliamentary speakers, said a commission had been established in the Majlis to assess the deal.

An unnamed Iranian lawmaker told reporters the commission would reach a decision within weeks, with a parliamentary vote in around a month.

Larijani said he personally considered the agreement good. But he cautioned that there was some stiff opposition to the deal, under which sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for about a decade of curbs on Tehran's nuclear program. Among the aspects of the nuclear agreement that Iranian lawmakers dislike, he said, is the so-called snapback, under which UN sanctions can be reinstated in the event of alleged violations of the terms of the agreement.

Larijani said the US acted as a "bully" in the Vienna talks which culminated in the accord, though Iran achieved much. It succeeded in affirming its right to enrich uranium and won significant sanctions relief. Iran denies allegations it has sought atomic weapons, saying its program is entirely for peaceful purposes.