Tehran Passes Toothless Bill to Restart Nuclear Program
Iran’s parliament wasted no time following the Friday assassination of the country’s top nuclear official, passing a law on Tuesday requiring government to suspend international inspections of its nuclear facilities and fully restart its uranium enrichment program. After passing the bill, lawmakers broke out in “Death to America, death to Israel” chants on the parliament floor. Yet it was government officials themselves who surprisingly poured cold water on the initiative, intimating that Tehran would in all likelihood not breach its agreement with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, regarding inspections of suspected nuclear sites. “The government believes that under the constitution, the nuclear accord and program … are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme National Security Council … and parliament cannot deal with this by itself,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told state media. Iran has already breached its uranium enrichment limits agreed on in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, several months after the United States pulled out of the deal in 2018. On Friday, assassins killed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear mastermind, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in Tehran. Iran has blamed Israel for the incident while also implying that the US and Saudi Arabia were in on the scheme.