Iranian MPs: No nuclear deal until sanctions fully lifted

Iranian MPs have called on President Hassan Rouhani to refrain from carrying out Iran's commitments under the nuclear deal signed with world powers until all economic sanctions are lifted.

In a letter to Rouhani reported by state-owned Press TV, 213 of 290 MPs in Iran's Majlis demanded that "no practical measure should be taken with regard to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) before US President Barack Obama and the European Union officially declare the lifting of all financial and economic sanctions against Tehran."

Such a move would be in breach of the JCPOA, however, which requires Iran to curb its nuclear activity in several areas before an incremental rollback in sanctions begins.

The letter, which was sent to Rouhani on October 21, also called on him to form of "powerful, informed and astute" committee to supervise the nuclear deal's implementation, and warned him "to fully observe the directives issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the JCPOA implementation to safeguard the Iranian nation’s interests," according to state-controlled media.

It is unclear what impact the letter will have, given that Iran's parliament, or "Consultative Assembly," is largely symbolic. Ultimate authority in Tehran rests with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, with even the president unable to enact any policies without Khamenei's explicit say-so.

Khamenei himself has issued mixed messages about the JCPOA, on the one hand giving his blessing to the intensive negotiations and to the signing of the deal itself earlier this year, while on the other hand repeatedly making strong anti-American and anti-western statements and warning that the deal is a "western plot."


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