September 23, 2019

Iran’s parliament OKs nuclear deal it may have violated

The parliament of Iran voted to approve the nuclear deal that its country’s negotiators reached with six world powers two days after it reportedly may have violated the agreement.

Lawmakers backed legislation on Tuesday to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, by a vote of 161 in favor and 59 against, with 13 abstentions, the Fars news agency reported. The measure on the the sanctions relief for nuclear restrictions agreement now goes to the Guardian Council, a panel of senior clerics, for review and final approval.

The bill orders the government not to reveal classified military information and mandates that international inspections of military sites need the approval of a top Iranian security body, according to Fars. It also states that no government in Iran is allowed to produce and use nuclear weapons according to a fatwa, or religious decree, issued by the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Under the measure, the Iranian government may stop adhering to the agreement if the international community does not drop sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

On Sunday, Iran tested a new guided long-range ballistic missile, which may have violated the nuclear deal, as well as a United Nations Security Council resolution that bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads,” according to The New York Times.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the minority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, called for a strict response to the missile test.

“Yesterday’s alleged ballistic missile test by Iran, likely in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions, makes absolutely clear why there must be no ambiguity when it comes to the United States and our partners’ willingness to enforce Iran’s obligations under UN resolutions and the JCPOA,” he said in a statement. “I call on the President and the United Nations to impose sanctions for Iran’s behavior or to take any other steps necessary to continue restraining Iran’s ability to develop its ballistic missiles.

“If we fail to enforce ballistic missile restrictions, extended in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, confidence in our willingness to enforce other aspects of Iran’s commitments – particularly its obligations to roll back its nuclear program under the JCPOA – will be undermined. The precedent here matters.”