Iran watchdog passes law on hardening nuclear stance, halting U.N. inspections

By Parisa Hafezi DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Guardian Council watchdog body approved a law on Wednesday that obliges the government to halt U.N. inspections of its nuclear sites and step up uranium enrichment beyond the limit set under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal if sanctions are not eased in twomonths

Reuters December 03, 2020 01:10:19 IST
Iran watchdog passes law on hardening nuclear stance, halting U.N. inspections

Iran watchdog passes law on hardening nuclear stance halting UN inspections

By Parisa Hafezi

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Guardian Council watchdog body approved a law on Wednesday that obliges the government to halt U.N. inspections of its nuclear sites and step up uranium enrichment beyond the limit set under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal if sanctions are not eased in twomonths.

In retaliation for the killing last week of Iran's top nuclear scientist, which Tehran has blamed on Israel, Iran's hardline-dominated parliament on Tuesday approved the bill with a strong majority that will harden Iran's nuclear stance.

The Guardian Council is charged with ensuring draft laws do not contradict Shi'ite Islamic laws or Iran’s constitution. However, the stance of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all matters of state, is not known.

"Today in a letter, the parliament speaker officially asked the president to implement the new law," Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Under the new law, Tehran would give two months to the deal's European parties to ease sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors, imposed after Washington quit the pact between Tehran and six powers in 2018.

In reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" policy on Tehran, Iran has gradually reduced its compliance with the deal.

The law pushed by hardline lawmakers would make it harder for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20, to rejoin the agreement.

Biden has said he would return to the pact and would lift sanctions if Tehran returned to "strict compliance with the nuclear deal".

"There's now more pressure on (President Hassan) Rouhani's government to secure a U.S. return to the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) quickly," tweeted Ariane Tabatabai, a Middle East researcher at the German Marshall Fund and Columbia University.

Rouhani, the Iranian architect of the 2015 deal, criticised parliament's move as "harmful to diplomatic efforts" aimed at easing U.S. sanctions.

Under the new law, the government should resume uranium enrichment to 20% and install advanced centrifuges at its Natanz and Fordow nuclear facilities.

The deal caps the fissile purity to which Iran can refine uranium at 3.67%, far below the 20% achieved before the deal and below the weapons-grade level of 90%. Iran breached the 3.67% cap in July 2019 and the enrichment level has remained steady at up to 4.5% since then.

Britain, France and Germany, all parties to the 2015 deal, have urged Iran to fully respect it.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Toby Chopra and Alistair Bell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Police officer hailed for steering Capitol mob from Senate chamber
World

Police officer hailed for steering Capitol mob from Senate chamber

By Tom Hals (Reuters) - A police officer is being hailed for his role steering an angry mob away from the Senate chambers in Wednesday's deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump

At least 25 domestic terrorism cases opened as result of assault on Capitol -lawmaker
World

At least 25 domestic terrorism cases opened as result of assault on Capitol -lawmaker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least 25 domestic terrorism cases have been opened as a result of Wednesday's assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told a Democratic lawmaker on Sunday

Indonesia locates black boxes of crashed jet as body parts recovered
World

Indonesia locates black boxes of crashed jet as body parts recovered

By Fransiska Nangoy and Bernadette Christina JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian authorities on Sunday located the black boxes of the Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the sea soon after taking off from the capital Jakarta, as human body parts and pieces of the plane were retrieved. The Boeing 737-500 with 62 passengers and crew was headed on a domestic flight to Pontianak in West Kalimantan on Saturday before it disappeared from radar screens four minutes after take-off