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Iran lawmakers call for president’s prosecution over IAEA deal

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Iran lawmakers call for president’s prosecution over IAEA deal

Tehran: Hardline Iranian lawmakers say an agreement reached recently between the government and the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is “illegal” and the president must be punished for it.

In a public vote on Monday, an overwhelming majority of lawmakers voted to send a report by the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on the agreement reached with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the judiciary for review.

The report asserts that the deal struck on Sunday between the IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) constitutes a “clear violation” of a law passed by Parliament in December.

As per the law, the government of President Hassan Rouhani must stop the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, which gives broad authorities to IAEA inspectors, from Tuesday.

In a statement, the AEOI said the implementation of the Additional Protocol will be completely halted from Tuesday, in accordance with the law, and no access will be given to the UN’s nuclear watchdog beyond those laid out in a principal safeguards agreement aimed at ensuring nuclear non-proliferation.

However, detractors have said the agreement reached after IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited Tehran violates the December law, in that Iran would unilaterally record the monitoring data the nuclear watchdog’s inspectors would normally be able to access under the Additional Protocol, but would not share the data.

The arrangement will remain in place for three months, at the end of which the data will be destroyed if all United States sanctions, imposed on Iran since 2018 after former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, are not lifted.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the talks “resulted in a very significant diplomatic achievement and a very significant technical achievement … within the framework of the parliament’s binding law”.

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