Iran’s Parliament Seeks Assurances US Will Honor Nuclear Deal

Wants legal guarantee from US Congress not to withdraw from pact

With the Vienna nuclear deal with Iran still believed very close to completd, the Iranian parliament has sent a letter to President Raisi setting out what they’d like to see result from the last-minute negotiations.

Raisi had set out his position, saying he wants Iran’s nuclear rights respected, and that they will not retreat from that. The MPs seem mostly interested in just assuring that the deal stays intact and doesn’t immediately fall apart.

A key request of the MPs’ letter is something familiar to the talks, a promise from the US not to leave the deal at a later date. This concern was that President Obama agreed to the deal in 2015, never fully implemented, and the US withdrew a few years later. The concern is that Iran will make concessions to get the deal back in place and the US will do the same thing again.

How could that be addressed? The MPs suggested that the US Congress be asked to vote on the deal, and provide a legal guarantee that the US will not dishonor the pact, nor to call on the “snapback sanctions.”

With Congress deeply divided on the deal, that’s a tall order. With Israel lobbying heavily in the US and opposed to any deal with Iran, it may be effectively impossible to get any such guarantee.

The US has been resistant on the guarantees, arguing that there is no system in place that could prevent future US governments from reversing course. That leaves Iran feeling somewhat vulnerable, but trying to get Congress involved will likely just make matters less certain, not more.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has suggested that they’d like to see the US build some confidence on the deal by offering some of the sanctions relief before the deal is finalized. this would be a big offer, since the US didn’t fulfill its requirements under the 2015 version of the deal, and would show that at least some of the deal will be in place this time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of