June 24, 2020
Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Tuesday ratified a motion to oblige the government to cease its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The motion which will be put to vote by the newly-formed parliament, if turned into law, will affect the future of the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.
Sara Fallahi, a member of the Committee, told Fars News Agency that the Committee has invited Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and Nuclear Chief Ali-Akbar Salehi to participate in the Committee’s next session to discuss the matter. The next session of the Committee has been scheduled for July 6.
The United States insists on Iran’s implementation of the Additional Protocol. “No other country has ever denied access to a formal request under the Additional Protocol,” the White House National Security Council said in a tweet on June 15.
Tehran is currently implementing the requirements of the Additional Protocol on a voluntary basis. Drawn in 1997, it gives the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors permanent rights to inspect nuclear establishments of its signatories at any time.
Iran has been a signatory of the NPT since 1970 and signed the Additional Protocol in 2003 but according to the Iranian Constitution, the Parliament must ratify all international treaties that the country joins. Until ratification by the Parliament, Iran is not obligated to implement the Additional Protocol.
In July 2019 Zarif said in New York that Iran was prepared to join the additional protocol of the IAEA if the United States lifted all of its sanctions. Joining the Additional Protocol requires the ratification of the Parliament and the approval of the Supreme Leader.
According to the IAEA, “The additional protocol is not a standalone agreement but rather a protocol to a safeguards agreement that provides additional tools for verification. In particular, it significantly increases the IAEA’s ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear material in states with comprehensive safeguards agreements”.