Iran lawmakers curtailed on power to veto N-deal

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TEHRAN: Iran’s parliament curtailed its own power to block a nuclear deal with world powers on Sunday, effectively removing a longstanding threat that a final accord could be torn up by lawmakers.

A draft bill presented on Wednesday, which laid down strict criteria for Iran to accept any agreement, had threatened to complicate talks on a final accord, which are due to be finalised by June 30.

However, in a boost to President Hassan government, key amendments to the proposed legislation will now move the formal supervision of a deal out of the hands of lawmakers.The original text had set criteria parliament would have to say had been met for an agreement to be binding.

But the amended bill instead gives the right of supervision to the country’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).The council comprises ministers, military commanders and handpicked appointees of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Chaired by Rouhani, who is pushing hard for a nuclear deal, it is ultimately controlled by Khamenei, who will have the final word on any nuclear accord.“Whatever decision the leader takes in this regard, we should obey in parliament,” speaker Ali Larijani said after 199 MPs voted for the amendments in the 290-member chamber.

“We should not tie the hands of the leader,” he added.Only three lawmakers opposed the changes and five abstained, with six not voting and dozens more absent.Although the sponsor of the original bill, Alaedin Boroujerdi, the chairman of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, said it was designed to insulate Iran’s negotiators from the West’s “excessive demands”, Larijani suggested otherwise.“We want to help the country and not create new problems,” he said, referring to the need to coordinate with the SNSC.

 

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