Zarif to Meet Majlis ISA Panel

Zarif to Meet Majlis ISA PanelZarif to Meet Majlis ISA Panel

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is scheduled to attend a meeting of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on Tuesday to answer questions about a US Congress bill to renew the Iran Sanctions Act, the commission's spokesperson said.

"The foreign minister and his deputies will be present in the commission's meeting to answer the questions of eight lawmakers," Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said in an interview with ICANA on Sunday.

"After addressing the lawmakers' questions, Zarif is expected to report on the implementation of JCPOA and explain what options are available to respond to the ISA extension," he added.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the formal title of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers. It has been in effect since mid-January to lift international sanctions in return for curtailing Tehran's nuclear work.

US Congress has passed the ISA measure almost unanimously, sending it to President Barack Obama for final approval to become law.

ISA was first enforced in 1996 and will expire at the end of this month, unless Obama approves the decade-long extension.

The US State Department has said he is expected to sign the bill.

Top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani who championed the accord and the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei who gave it his blessing, have denounced the Congress move as a violation of the action plan.

They have warned that the enforcement and even approval of the bill by Obama would prompt retaliation from the Islamic Republic.  

The Republican move has been seized upon by Rouhani's conservative rivals ahead of the 2017 presidential election to reinforce their criticism of the deal.

They blame Rouhani for his government's failure to deliver the promised dividends from the action plan, which they insist has conceded too much to the other side and compromised the establishment.

Another member of parliament, Jabbar Kouchakinejad, said the chief nuclear negotiator Zarif will have to explain to the commission why Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program at once while it should have done that gradually so it could have effectively deterred such hostile US actions.

"The United States has failed to fully adhere to its obligations under JCPOA despite Iran carrying out all its commitments," he said.

The implementation of the action plan was subject to confirmation by the International Atomic Energy Agency that the Islamic Republic has put in place all the agreed restrictions on its nuclear program.



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