Iran’s legislative body approves bill on halting nuclear inspections
Iran’s Guardian Council of Constitution, the highest legislative body of the country, on Wednesday approved a parliament’s bill which urges suspension of UN inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities if signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal do not take steps to remove U.S. sanctions against Iran.Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman for the Guardian Council, was quoted by Iran Press news website as saying that the council “did not consider this plan against the constitution and approved it.”In retaliation for the killing last week of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Tehran has blamed on Israel, Iran’s hardline-dominated parliament on Tuesday approved the bill with a strong majority that will harden Iran’s nuclear stance.The bill urges the administration of President Hassan Rouhani to stop UN nuclear watchdog’s inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities, which Iran had accepted under the Additional Protocol document subject to the 2015 nuclear deal.After being approved by the Guardian Council, the bill turned into a law which mandates the government to halt the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol document in case signatory states of the nuclear deal do not take steps to “normalize banking relations and completely remove barriers for exporting Iran’s oil” in two months.The Guardian Council is charged with ensuring draft laws do not contradict Shi’ite Islamic laws or Iran’s constitution.Under the new law, Tehran would give two months to the deal’s European parties to ease sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors, imposed after Washington quit the pact between Tehran and six powers in 2018. Iran’s government should also resume uranium enrichment to 20 percent and install advanced centrifuges at its Natanz and Fordow nuclear facilities.However, Rouhani criticized the parliament’s bill earlier on Wednesday, official IRNA news agency reported.”The government does not agree with the bill passed by the parliament yesterday,” Rouhani said, adding that “it (the bill) would be detrimental to diplomatic efforts.”The stance of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all matters of state, is not known.Hard for Biden to rejoin Iran nuclear dealIn reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy on Tehran, Iran has gradually reduced its compliance with the deal.The law pushed by hardline lawmakers would make it harder for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on January 20, to rejoin the agreement.Biden has said he would return to the pact and would lift sanctions if Tehran returned to “strict compliance with the nuclear deal.”

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