If Sanctions Are Not Lifted Completely, Iran Will Only Suspend Its Nuclear Program - Khamenei
“I believe, and I have said it to President (Rouhani), that it is not right to sideline the Majlis (Iranian parliament) on the (nuclear) deal,” Khamenei said. “I am not saying how the review should proceed or whether the lawmakers should approve the deal or reject it. It is up to them, as representatives of the people, to decide.” (IRNA, 3 September)
Khamenei made the remarks a day after President Obama gathered enough supporters in the United States Senate to veto an expected disapproval vote on the deal by Congress and sustain it.
In his speech today, Khamenei also said that as part of the deal sanctions should be lifted completely, and not just suspended.
“Sanctions imposed on Iran should be lifted and not only suspended… If not, then we will only suspend our nuclear activities,” Khamenei said. (IRIB/IRNA, 3 September)
The nuclear agreement, JCPOA, would suspend sanctions in phases as Iran complies with its commitments to dismantle/redesign different parts of its nuclear program, and will remove them completely upon full compliance by Iran of all its commitments. Khamenei’s call today for lifting of all sanctions completely before Iran makes concrete steps to dismantle/redesign parts of the program could probably bring about the collapse of the JCPOA.
Now the most likely course of action is for the Majlis to approve a revised version of the deal, incorporating Khamenei's conditions, which would probably not be acceptable to P5+1. Khamenei made his stance on the issue clear today, and the Majlis will be expected to follow him.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had earlier said that the Majlis review of the deal was not required or necessary and instead he had sent the agreement to the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) for review, where an approval was expected.
Photo credit: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei flanked by country’s senior leaders; Tehran, 3 September 2015 (Fars News Agency)