Iran’s hard-liners push legislation to exit nuclear deal

Al-Monitor – If passed, the legislation proposed by hard-liners would effectively force the government into a farewell to the fragile nuclear deal depending on UN action.

A group of hard-line lawmakers in Iran’s parliament have drafted legislation that would oblige the government of President Hassan Rouhani to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The “double-urgency” draft legislation has already been signed by 49 lawmakers. The departure, based on the text of the proposal, would take place if a snapback of sanctions is triggered against Iran.

Under the draft legislation, dubbed “automatic pullout,” Iran’s withdrawal from the agreement would have to take place within 72 hours after a reinstatement of Security Council sanctions resolutions against Tehran as such a move “will make Iran’s presence in the deal futile.” One of the architects of the proposed legislation, conservative parliamentarian Ali Khezrian, said this contingency plan is a “deterrent measure” that “serves Iran’s national interests.”

The legislation seems to have been prompted by an intensifying US effort to trigger the dispute mechanism enshrined in articles 36 and 37 of the JCPOA. The provision essentially authorizes the signatories who are also on the Security Council to veto an extension of the suspension of anti-Iran sanctions. Washington has warned that it will employ the mechanism, while Iran and other signatories argue that having departed from the accord in 2018, the US government has no legal power to bring the matter forward as the mechanism is reserved for existing JCPOA members.

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