While some diplomats say a nuclear deal with the West is likely within the next week, Iranian lawmakers have a feeling they have been left out of the process.

Some 250 Iranian lawmakers on Sunday called for a guarantee to ensure that the United States will not pull out of an agreement with Iran once again. They also demanded that all the sanctions against Iran should be lifted before any new agreement.

While foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibazadeh also insisted on Monday that sanctions should be lifted, he pointed out that Iran’s Supreme Council of National Security is the body that decides on the nuclear deal. The SCNS is believed to be a front for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who steers the negotiations from behind the scenes.

Also on Monday, reformist lawmaker from Tabriz Massoud Pezeshkian said that the Majles has not been informed of the details of the negotiations in Vienna at all, noting that everything about the negotiations is being managed by the SCNS.

Based on a December 2020 legislation that called for reducing Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA, the Iranian negotiating team is required to brief the Majles on the talks from time to time. The legislation at the time was touted as putting a clear legal responsibility on the government to escalate the nuclear crisis. However, according to Pezeshkian, the Majles has been left in the dark and the negotiations are being furthered based on attestations made by the SCNS.

The legislation known as Strategic Action to Lift the Sanctions and Protect Iranian Nation’s Interests, appears to have been totally ignored by the negotiators and the SCNS and this, according to Pezshkian, is against the law. “Now we should ask the lawmakers who defended and approved the legislation why the law was made and why the Majles has not been briefed about the results of negotiations,” Pezeshkian said, adding that “The government and the foreign ministry do not tell us anything about the talks.”

The prominent lawmaker added that even the foreign ministry is not aware of what is going on in Vienna. “They make all the decisions at the Supreme Council of National Security and then tell the foreign ministry to follow up on matters,” Pezeshkian said. Nonetheless, he said it is unlikely that differences would occur between the Majles and the government as both bodies belong to the same part of the Iranian political landscape.

While a significant part of Iran’s economic problems are related to United States’ sanctions, SCNS Chief Ali Shamkhani insisted on Monday that holding negotiations with the Washington is not on the agenda of the Iranian negotiating team. “Negotiation with US is not on the agenda of the Iranian team because it will not be the source of any progress,” he said.

This comes while President Ebrahim Raisi who visited Qatar on Monday appears to have agreed with Doha’s mediation between Tehran and Washington. Political commentators who have spoken to Iran International TV unanimously agreed that Qatar is playing a mediation role between Iran and the US particularly about a planned prisoner swap. Commentator Ali Sadrzadeh said that Qatar appears to have replaced Oman in the indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington particularly about arranging a prisoner swap.

According to conservative Nameh News website, “both Iran and the United States need an agreement. The United States does not say that as elaborately as Iran does. Iran has to surrender to an agreement that fulfils its minimal expectations to put an end to its nation’s financial hardships. As both sides need an agreement, it is likely that there will be one within a few weeks.”

Source » iranintl