Iran Lawmakers Call for Debate on Quitting Nuclear Arms
A group of Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday asked parliament to debate a motion for Iran to quit a treaty governing global nuclear arms control, a move apparently aimed at pressuring European powers to salvage Tehran’s own 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week that Iran could withdraw from the NPT if European countries refer the country to the U.N. Security Council over the 2015 deal, a move that would overturn diplomacy in Tehran’s turbulent relations with Western powers.
To become a law, the proposal would have to be passed by lawmakers in two readings and then ratified by the Guardian Council, a body that is in charge of ensuring bills do not contradict religious laws or Iran’s constitution. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic, has the final say on all state matters like Tehran’s nuclear policy.
Iran has responded by gradually scaling back its commitments, although it says these steps are reversible if the European powers can salvage the deal by shielding Iran’s economy from U.S. penalties. However, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell on Friday extended the time available to discuss ways to save the nuclear deal with Iran under the dispute mechanism.