Zarif Briefs Lawmakers on Domestic, Regional Issues

Zarif Briefs Lawmakers on Domestic, Regional IssuesZarif Briefs Lawmakers on Domestic, Regional Issues

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed a closed session of the parliament on Tuesday to brief lawmakers on latest developments regarding the nuclear deal, Syria war and Iraqi Kurds' contentious independence vote.

"The foreign minister and his deputies attended the closed meeting based on a decision by the Majlis Presiding Board. He talked about the three issues of Syria, Iraqi [Kurdistan's] referendum and JCPOA," lawmaker Behrouz Nemati told reporters after the meeting, IRNA reported.

JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the landmark deal between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) to give it sanctions relief in exchange for rolling back its nuclear development.

There has been a marked escalation in American hostility toward the Islamic Republic and the July 2015 accord since US President Donald Trump took office in January this year, a year after the multi-party agreement came into force. In the coming days, he is expected to unveil a new hostile plan against Iran while decertifying Tehran's compliance with the action plan.

Trump's refusal to recertify the accord would give the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reinstate the sanctions the previous US administration agreed to suspend under JCPOA.

His new Iran policy is rumored to involve classifying the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, which has infuriated the officials in Tehran who have threatened a "crushing" response.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has identified the potential scenarios likely to be adopted by Trump and Congress, and prepared response plans, accordingly," Nemati quoted Zarif as saying.

Trump's bellicose stance toward the UN-buttressed deal has met the fierce opposition of other parties, including the European allies of the United States.

Kurdistan Regional Government went ahead with a controversial decision to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25, defying a warning from Iraq's central government and its neighbors Iran and Turkey as well as the United Nations and some western powers over fears that the secessionist move could undermine the campaign to dislodge the Islamic State terrorist group from the conflict-ridden Arab country.


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