Zarif: Adoption of Additional Protocol within Purview of Parliament

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian foreign minister stressed that the nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the world powers in Geneva did not involve any talk of Iran’s pledge to adopt the Additional Protocol, reiterating that parliament alone has the authority to make a decision on the issue.

Zarif: Adoption of Additional Protocol within Purview of Parliament

Speaking in an open session of the Iranian parliament on Wednesday morning, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif briefed the legislators on the nuclear deal between Tehran and six major world powers that had been struck after three rounds of intensive talks in Geneva.

“We asserted that approval of the Additional Protocol is not within the purview of the administration and that we cannot even make any pledge in this regard, because the parliament has not given such permission, and the authority (to approve the protocol) lies in the hands of the parliament,” Zarif said.

Iran and the G5+1 countries (also known as the P5+1 in diplomatic shorthand) signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program after three rounds of intensive talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24. The agreement, which appeared in doubt until the last moment, caps a decade of diplomacy between Iran and the leading western powers.

According to the deal, Iran will stop enriching uranium beyond 5% and neutralize its stockpile of uranium enriched beyond this point. It will also allow greater access to inspectors including daily access at Natanz and Fordow, two of Iran's key nuclear sites, while agreeing to stop construction work at Arak heavy-water research reactor.

In return, there will be no new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, and some of the sanctions, including those on trade of precious metals, on Iran's car-making sector and its petrochemical exports will be suspended during the period - which can be extended by mutual agreement.

Some of Iran's frozen assets will be transferred in installments, while there will be less restrictions on the sale of crude oil in this period and the revenues from the sale of oil will not be subject to the sanctions regime.

But, according to Zarif, the two negotiating sides in Geneva did not discuss the issue of Additional Protocol during the marathon talks.

The Additional Protocol allows reinforced and unannounced inspections of a country's nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and requires that information be provided on all activities regarding the nuclear fuel cycle.

Iran, a signatory of the NPT, voluntarily implemented the additional protocol between 2003 and 2005-- it's parliament never ratified it-- but ceased to apply it after its nuclear case was sent to the United Nations Security Council. 

The Additional Protocol substantially expands the IAEA's ability to check nuclear facilities by providing the agency with authority to visit any facility, declared or not, to investigate questions about or inconsistencies in a state's nuclear declarations. States party to the NPT are not required to adopt an additional protocol, although the IAEA is urging all to do so.

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