Iranian parliament ratifies outlines of JCPOA

October 12, 2015

TEHRAN - Iranian lawmakers on Sunday approved the general outlines of a motion on a nuclear deal signed between Iran and the 5+1 group of world powers on a conditional basis.

The nuclear agreement is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

During the open session of the parliament, 139 lawmakers voted in favor of the JCPOA, 100 voted against, while 12 abstained.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - plus Germany finalized the text of the JCPOA over Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna on July 14.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

According to the motion, the Iranian administration has to actively pursue the policy of global nuclear disarmament and participate in all international, legal and diplomatic efforts in this regard. It also stipulates that the administration should stop its voluntary activities and adopt reciprocal measures to restore the rights of the Iranian nation in case the other side violates the terms of the agreement, particularly on the issue of the Western-led sanctions.

The details of the motion, proposed by Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, must now pass a second vote on Tuesday before being submitted to the Guardian Council for final approval.

The ratification of the single-urgency motion would now give the go-ahead to the administration to voluntarily implement the agreement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and his deputies Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, as well as head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi attended the Sunday session.

JCPOA, which its Persian acronym is BRJAM, is based on cooperation and mutual respect between Iran and the 5+1 group, the motion states. It also says any pressure and threat against the Islamic Republic would lead to a review of bilateral cooperation.

According to the motion, any visit by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should be conducted in line with international regulations and Iran’s national security. It also urges the Rouhani administration to fully protect Iran’s classified military and security information and prohibit any type of IAEA access to the country’s military sites under the pretext of implementing the JCPOA.

It also calls on Iran’s executive branch and Armed Forces to boost the national defense capabilities to protect national security and interests.

--------- Heated debate in parliament

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was the head of the Iranian nuclear negotiators in talks with six world powers, delivered a vigorous defense of the deal in Majlis, saying Iran had achieved its objectives.

“They [the world powers] didn’t want us to be in the nuclear club, but we are in it, thanks to God,” Zarif said in the session broadcast live. “History will show that we dominated the negotiations.”

Some members of parliament were not convinced. “This team failed to get the rights of the Iranian people from the American wolves,” Reuters quoted conservative lawmaker Alireza Zakani as saying in the debate preceding the vote.

MP Rouhollah Hosseinian also used harsh words against Salehi and Zarif.