The Iranian parliament will not endorse the Additional Protocol without the West’s practical and confidence-building measures, a senior lawmaker said, adding that any success in nuclear talks with the world powers depends on the removal of all sanctions against Tehran.
“If negotiations are to be pursued seriously and if any hope is due to be seen for its result, certainly all sanctions against the Iranian nation should be annulled,” Rapporteur of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told FNA on Saturday.
Stressing that the parliament welcomes a step-by-step plan (of confidence-building) in relation to the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany), he said, “There is no doubt that the Iranian nation will not allow its government to make an agreement with the westerners without the annulment of all sanctions.”
Asked if the Iranian parliament would endorse the Additional Protocol to the NPT, he said, “Lawmakers should be accountable to the nation and therefore, the nation’s representatives will not accept the Additional Protocol so easily.”
Iran and the world powers held talks in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday which marked the first time both sides had met since President Hassan Rouhani’s election.
Yet, questions remained over the proposal presented by Iran’s foreign minister the day before. At this stage, it appears as though the Iranian proposal includes the willingness to limit uranium enrichment, but also a demand that the world powers recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium on its soil.
Iran discussed limiting uranium enrichment with the world powers and reportedly expressed willingness to discuss signing the “additional protocol” – snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.
“None of these issues exist in the first step, but they are part of our last step,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said.
On Wednesday morning, several reports surfaced regarding the three-staged Iranian proposal to the world powers, due to be enacted within 6-12 months. AP reported that the Iranians are proposing to limit uranium enrichment as well as the number of centrifuges doing the enrichment. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Iran is prepared to suspend uranium enrichment at 20%, but demands the removal of international sanctions in return.
Iran and the six world powers agreed in Geneva to hold a follow-up round of nuclear negotiations on November 7 and 8.
Some other reports spoke of the acceptance of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by Iran, which includes snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Endorsement of the Additional Protocol needs the approval by not just the Iranian government, but the parliament.
And in response, senior Iranian parliamentary officials underlined that accepting the Additional Protocol should take place after the world powers recognize all the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation.
“Accepting the Additional Protocol depends on the recognition of all the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation, including (uranium) enrichment” by the world powers, the Presiding Board member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Mohammad Hassan Asafari, told FNA on Wednesday.
He reiterated that Iran has transparent criteria in its talks with the western powers which include protection of the inalienable right of the Iranian nation to use the nuclear energy and uranium enrichment.
“Acceptance of the Additional Protocol needs the parliament’s approval and if the talks take place within this framework and the Iranian nation’s rights are respected, this can be studied,” Asafari said.
Also, another ranking member of the Iranian legislator, Hassan Kamran, said the legislature is going to study the Additional Protocol to the NPT on Sunday, reiterating that any acceptance of the protocol needs the parliament’s approval.
“This issue (Additional Protocol) needs the parliament’s approval and we will discuss it in the Sunday session of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission,” member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hassan Kamran said Wednesday.
“All the people who represent Iran in the negotiations should consider the country’s national interests,” he added.
On Tuesday, Asafari announced that the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission would review the outcome of the talks between Iran and the six world powers in its upcoming session on Sunday.
“In this session the subjects and topics discussed in the negotiations will go under precise study,” Asafari told FNA, and added, “Supervision over the performance of the country’s diplomatic apparatus is a duty of the parliament and its National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.”
The additional protocol was created following the discovery of clandestine nuclear weapons programs in Iraq and North Korea during the 1990s. Countries conclude specific additional protocols to supplement their IAEA safeguards arrangement.
For the Additional Protocol to be enforced in any country, it needs the approval of both the government and the parliament of that country.
In addition to those which have basically rejected endorsement of the NPT, most signatories to the NPT have also defied accepting the agreement. Accepting the protocol is a voluntary, and not compulsory, decision.