Iran MPs to study nuke deal in 'constructive spirit', want briefing

  • Reuters, Dubai
  • Updated: Jul 15, 2015 19:11 IST
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the nation in a televised speech after a nuclear agreement was announced. (AP Photo)

The conservative-dominated parliament in Iran wants foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to brief it on a nuclear deal he negotiated with world powers and will examine the agreement in a "constructive spirit", official media reported on Wednesday.

Under the accord announced on Tuesday, international sanctions will be lifted in exchange for Iran agreeing to long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West and Israel have suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

Iran says its programme is for civilian purposes only.

Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

The nuclear deal is a political victory for Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said, adding that the agreement meant Tehran would no longer be regarded as an international threat.

Read: For US and Iran, nuclear deal is a series of tough compromises

"No one can say Iran surrendered," Rouhani told a cabinet meeting broadcast on state television. "The deal is a legal, technical and political victory for Iran. It's an achievement that Iran won't be called a world threat any more."

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said members of the assembly would scrutinise the deal's text and annexes from both legal and technical aspects, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"The MPs will look into the deal with a positive and constructive approach," he was quoted as saying.

"We will invite the foreign minister soon to tell us more about the talks and the deal."

While it is Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has the last word on matters of state, any discussion in the assembly will shed light on sentiment inside the political establishment about the historic agreement.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Khamenei, was quoted by the Fars news agency on July 10 as saying any deal reached in Vienna would be preliminary and should be approved by the National Security Council and later by Khamenei.

The parliament, alongside elements of the judiciary, armed forces and clerical establishment, strongly opposed making any meaningful concessions in the marathon negotiations, and is expected to seize on any perceived abuses by UN inspectors or Western powers in the coming months.

Military site

The head of parliament's security committee, Mohammad Reza Mohseni Sani, said MPs would want to examine the implications of the deal for access to a military site at Parchin, saying there appeared to have been a "compromise", Fars news agency reported.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, has repeatedly asked for access to Parchin, where it wants to investigate concerns that Iran has conducted experiments to assess how specific materials react under high pressure as in a nuclear blast.

For months, Iran had been stalling a UN probe into the possible military aspects of its past nuclear activities, relating mostly to the period before 2003, saying the agency's data for its investigation was fabricated

Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told Iran's ISNA news agency on Tuesday that the country's red lines had been respected with regard to international access to Parchin.

The IAEA said on Tuesday it had agreed a roadmap with Iran aimed at resolving all outstanding questions about the country's nuclear programme by the end of the year.

Zarif and his negotiating team arrived back in Iran from Vienna on Wednesday, landing first in Mashhad to pray at the burial site of Imam Reza, Iran's holiest Shi'ite Muslim shrine, before going on to Tehran.

"The resistance of our nation showed the world sanctions against Iran are futile," he was quoted as saying.

Each year hundreds of thousands of Iranians, and also Shi'ites from neighbouring countries, come to the shrine to pray and ask for a brighter future. Mashad is usually the first city newlyweds visit on their honeymoon to ask Imam Reza to bless the new chapter of their life.


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