Majlis Codifies Red Lines
Ayatollah Khamenei insisted that sanctions should be lifted as Iran begins the implementation of its commitments under a final agreement, and not after the IAEA certifies that Iran was indeed in compliance. Khamenei said he would not trust IAEA, because the agency is neither independent nor fair.
Khamenei also restated his objection for any inspections of military sites suspected of carrying out nuclear weapons-related work. IAEA has insisted that it needs to complete its inspection of possible military dimension to the country’s nuclear program, which would include an inspection of Parchin military base. Iran’s acceptance of IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which would facilitate such inspections, was part of the Lausanne framework agreement announced in April by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Khameni also added a new redline today. He said he would not accept 10 or 12-year limitations on uranium enrichment, a central part of the Lausanne framework agreement.
"Unlike the insistence from the Americans, we do not accept long-term limitations of 10, 12 years. And we told them how many years of limitations we are ready to accept," Khamenei said. (IRNA, 23 June)
Comment: With exactly one week left to the 30 June deadline for a final agreement, Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments and Majlis' action today undercut the framework agreement already reached in Lausanne and announced by Zarif and Moghirini on 2 April. Khamenei wants all sanctions be lifted before IAEA inspectors verify Iranian compliance with dismantling part of the country’s nuclear infrastructure. He would not allow IAEA, irrespective of IAEA’s Additional Protocol, to inspect suspected sites, such as Parchin. The Lausanne framework agreement also stipulates a ten-year freeze on 20% enrichment, something Khamenei now appeared to be opposed to. Probably the negotiating partner in the nuclear talks should be Khamenei, and not Zarif. At least we will find out if there is a chance to cut a nuclear deal with Iran. Extending the deadline will not resolve the problem, it only creates a JPOA Forever!