Iranian parliament approves nuclear action plan

13 October 2015

The Iranian parliament has today approved a bill on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. Meanwhile, Japan has pledged to support Iran's implementation of the plan.

The bill secured approval from a majority of members of parliament, with 161 out of a total of 250 voting in favour, 59 against and 13 abstaining. A preliminary parliamentary vote on Sunday saw 139 votes in favour out of a total of 253, with 100 against and 12 abstentions.

Japan pledges support

Japan and Iran have pledged to cooperate in the field of nuclear safety and the implementation of IAEA safeguards and transparency measures to support the implementation of the JPCOA.

According to a joint statement issued by Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, Japan will support Iran by sharing expertise on seismic safety at nuclear facilities, providing experts and training programs to support the establishment of an Iranian nuclear safety centre as required under the JCPOA, and field-based training programs on nuclear material accounting and control.

The vote came the day after Iran's President Rouhani told a meeting of council officials in the province of Mazandaran that the lifting of United Nations sanctions was the most important legal issue faced by the nation. "If we want to overcome the issues, we need extraordinary endeavour and a jump ahead," he said, according to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The JCPOA was signed in July by Iran and the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the USA - also referred to as the P5+1 - plus the European Union). Under its terms, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment activities, eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and limit its stockpile of low enriched uranium over the next 15 years. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is tasked with overseeing Iran's actions under the agreement.

Alongside the JCPOA, Iran and the IAEA agreed a "road-map" setting out a timeline of activities in order for the agency to make an assessment, by the end of 2015, of issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. IAEA director general Yukiya Amano said last month that significant progress had been made in the implementation of the road-map after Iran granted the agency its first access to a location at the Parchin nuclear site.

The European Union's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, welcomed the parliamentary vote via Twitter: "Good news from Tehran today: parliamentary process of the nuclear deal completed, getting closer to formal adoption," she said. 

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News