Parliament bill prohibiting negotiations with U.S. is 'preemptive': MP

July 14, 2021 - 2:4

TEHRAN – An Iranian lawmaker who helped prepare a bill conditioning negotiation with the U.S. on permission from the Majlis said the measure is intended to forestall any signing of deals by governments without informing the legislative body.

A group of Iranian lawmakers has proposed a bill that, if passed, would ban any negotiations between Iranian officials and their American counterparts without official permission from the Majlis.

The bill, officially called “Plan to Ban Talks between Officials and Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran with U.S. Officials,” was received by the Iranian parliament’s presiding board on June 23 and is expected to be discussed soon.

The bill stipulates that “from the date of entry into force of this law, any initiation of negotiation or negotiation by authorities and officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran with U.S. officials without the permission and approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly is prohibited.”

According to the bill, any violation of the law would result in punishing the violator. Procedures for implementation of the law will be prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the ministries of intelligence and justice and the IRGC’s intelligence agency within two months and will be approved by the cabinet of ministers.

The bill’s introduction explained the logic behind it. “U.S. officials have always taken military, intelligence, anti-human rights, and sanctions measures against the Islamic Republic of Iran and our country's officials in various ways, directly or under the guise of their economic, scientific, medical, biological, and industrial activities. The irrational and shameful act of the American authorities in martyring General Qassem Soleimani is one of the clear examples of their crimes against the Islamic Republic of Iran and humanity. On several occasions, the U.S. president has identified the officials and institutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran as terrorists and has imposed sanctions on them,” the introduction said.

It added, “Unfortunately, in the JCPOA we witnessed the negligence of American officials, and the reason for this negligence was that despite the emphasis of the Supreme Leader of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Iran, presented the content of the JCPOA differently and did not give the people's representatives a full and clear explanation on the real provisions of the JCPOA. This led to the ratification of the JCPOA in the Islamic Consultative Assembly.”

Thus, the lawmakers justified the bill and called for permission from the Majlis for any negotiations with the U.S. to prevent government officials from using the negotiation as a propaganda tool and putting pressure on the Majlis.

Mohammad Taghi Naqd-Ali, a lawmaker who helped prepare the bill, further explained the logic behind the bill by linking it to fundamental disagreements between Iran and the U.S.

“Because we have fundamental differences with the United States and the Zionist regime, and the hegemony of the United States and Israel is certain, any formal or informal negotiation with the United States without the knowledge of Parliament is prohibited,” the lawmaker told state news IRNA.

He added, “According to Article 77 of the Constitution, international treaties, conventions, treaties and agreements must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Given that the constitution requires parliamentary oversight of international treaties, this plan has been prepared in line with parliamentary oversight tools.”

Naqd-Ali described the bill as a “preemptive” measure and said it was presented in a bid to prevent any signing of deals by government officials without informing the legislative body.

He also put the bill in the broader context of the Iranian policy of non-alignment with the East and the West. Naqd-Ali noted that this bill aims to protect the well-known Iranian foreign policy principle of “Neither East nor West.”


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