Iranian president Rouhani rejects bill calling for breaches of nuclear agreement

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Iran’s president dismissed a bill that would reduce Iran’s compliance with international regulations on its nuclear energy program.

On Tuesday, Iranian lawmakers voted for a draft bill that would significantly increase Iran’s nuclear enrichment. The 20% jump would put Iran above the 3.67% enrichment rate Iran agreed to under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

However, on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he disagrees with the bill, calling it “harmful to the trend of diplomatic activities,” state-run Press TV reported.

Iran entered into the JCPOA, also known as the Iran deal, in 2015 with the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The agreement removed sanctions on Iran in exchange for compliance regarding its nuclear program. In 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran. The United States asserts that Iran is building a nuclear weapon, but Iran denies this.

Tuesday’s legislation would also give the European parties to the JCPOA a month to enable Iran access to global oil and financial markets — access which US sanctions prohibit. Iran would stop IAEA inspections if this is not done, according to Press TV.

The bill came following the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last week. Iran has blamed its foe Israel for the killing and vowed revenge. Iranian parliamentarians cited the killing when voting for the bill, according to the state-run Tasnim News Agency.

It is unclear what will come of the proposed law. On Wednesday, the speaker of the parliament officially asked Rouhani to implement the legislation. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has yet to take a position on it, Reuters reported.

The future of the nuclear agreement is unclear in light of Rouhani’s comments, parliament’s actions and the fallout from the assassination. US President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly said he wants to conditionally reenter the deal, and the Iranian government said it was open to do this before Fakhrizadeh’s death.

Source » al monitor

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