Iran ready to implement n-deal: Rouhani

Tehran, Oct 14 (IANS) Iran is ready to start implementing the nuclear deal reached with the world powers in July, President Hassan Rouhani has said following its approval by the Majlis (parliament).

“After the Guardian Council announces the endorsement, the government will start necessary measures” to implementing the nuclear agreement, titled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Xinhua quoted Rouhani as saying on Tuesday.

The Majlis vote needs final approval of Iran’s Guardian Council, a 12-member high legislative body. It would then become a mandatory law to be implemented by the government.

Iran’s parliament on Tuesday approved the legislation supporting the recent nuclear deal.

The motion asked Rouhani’s administration to implement the deal between Iran and the P5+1 group, namely the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Out of 250 lawmakers present at the Majlis meeting, 161 cast votes in favour, 59 were against and 13 abstained. Also, 17 lawmakers did not participate in the vote.

Iran’s Majlis is a 290-seat legislative body, and 40 lawmakers were absent in the meeting on Tuesday.

The vote of Majlis asks the government to take “proportional measures” and consider national security in implementing the nuclear deal.

In case of violation by “the other side”, “Iran will stop its voluntary cooperation” in relation to the nuclear agreement.

In that case, the government will be obliged to “develop its peaceful nuclear programme” and enhance its uranium enrichment capacity to the level of 190,000 separative work units (SWUs) in a two-year period, according to the motion, titled “Iran’s Plan for Reciprocal and Proportional Measure in Implementing JCPOA.”

Over the past few days, Iran’s Majlis was the scene of bitter discussions over the motion, as the hardliners drew on the “loopholes” in the nuclear agreement which, according to them, would endanger the security of the Islamic Republic.

They criticised Rouhani and members of nuclear negotiating team for the “drawbacks” in the deal. However, they failed to delay the voting for further discussions.

Despite the stances of officials in Iran’s government, who said Majlis vote would not be necessary for the implementation of the deal, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei left it for the parliament to decide on the fate of the deal. Khamenei did not comment on the nuclear agreement openly.

On Tuesday, the government spokesman, Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht, welcomed Majlis vote and referred to it as a “historic decision”.

In the US, attempts to stop implementation of the deal failed in September.

Under the JCPOA, Iran would improve the transparency of its nuclear plan while freezing some of its activities in exchange for international and western sanctions relief.

The transparency measures by Iran to respond to the past and present outstanding questions over its nuclear programme should be approved by International Atomic Energy Association, the UN nuclear watchdog, said in its December 15, 2014 report.

According to the JCPOA, the IAEA is also tasked to monitor Iran’s voluntary measures under the additional protocol which supplements IAEA safeguards agreements.

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