Iran’s Parliament Tries to Block IAEA Access to Non-Nuclear Sites

Bill Must Be Ratified by Guardian Council

With 199 of the 213 present lawmakers voting in favor, Iran’s parliament passed a bill which aims to set terms on the P5+1 nuclear deal. In particular, the bill would ban IAEA inspectors from all conventional military and other sensitive non-nuclear sites in the country.

The bill also aims to demand a full lifting of all sanctions against Iran as part of any final nuclear deal. These issues have both been major subjects of debate as the deal nears finalization, with France in particular demanding IAEA access to pretty much everywhere, irrespective of applicability.

For the bill to actually become law, Iran’s Guardian Council will have to affirm its constitutionality. This is far from assured, as the council is close with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and may believe parliament is overstretching its mandate by trying to dictate terms on a diplomatic deal.

Iran’s parliament has a strong number of hardline conservatives who have been opposed to the nuclear deal from the start, and are clearly trying to limit the deal to lessen the chance of the deal. This, ironically, mirrors efforts in the US Senate to do the same thing, though trying to make the terms harsher to Iran instead of more lenient.

Iranian negotiators may prefer to leave the Guardian Council’s decision on the bill unresolved for awhile as a negotiating tactic, making it appear that the parliament will need to be placated with some concessions.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.