January 19, 2021
Middle East

Iran Parliament Pushes Bill To End UN Nuclear Inspections After Scientist’s Killing

republicworld– The Iranian parliament on Tuesday, December 1, proposed a bill that would end United Nations inspections on its nuclear facilities. Iran had agreed to give UN inspectors more intrusive access to atomic sites in accordance with the multi-party nuclear agreement struck five years ago. The new bill would further require the government to expand its uranium enrichment if European signatories to the 2015 nuclear pact do not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions.

The bill was first tabled in the parliament back in August. However, it gained new momentum after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last week, who headed a programme that Israel has alleged to be a military operation looking to build a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile, the new bill is yet to pass through several stages before it finally becomes a law. According to Associated Press reports, the IRNA news agency said that 251 lawmakers in the 290-seat chamber voted in favor of the bill after which many began chanting ‘Death to America!’ and ‘Death to Israel!’.

 

Three months to ease sanctions

The Iranian government through its bill would give European countries three months to relax sanctions on Iran’s key oil and gas sector and to restore its access to the international banking system. Earlier the United States had imposed sanctions on Iran after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement, which triggered a series of escalations between the two sides.

The bill would further have Iranian authorities resume enriching uranium to 20 percent, which is below the threshold required for nuclear weapons however higher than that required for civilian applications. It would also commission new centrifuges at nuclear facilities at Natanz and the underground Fordo site, according to the report. The bill would also require another parliamentary vote to pass, as well as approval by the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog.

Israel questions Iran’s nuclear plans

Following the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Israel continues to maintain that Iran has the purpose of developing nuclear weapons, by pointing to Tehran’s ballistic missile program and research into other technologies. However, Iran has said that the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. The country has further blamed Israel for Fakhrizadeh’s killing.

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