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Iran okays plan to speed nuclear program

Iran okays plan to speed nuclear program
Guardian Council's nod dampens government efforts to hold talks with Washington on 2015 nuclear deal

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

TEHRAN (AA) - Despite stiff opposition, Iran's top supervisory body on Wednesday approved the parliament's action plan to counter US sanctions by accelerating its nuclear program.

Guardian Council, a constitutionally-mandated body empowered to vet legislations, in a meeting okayed the plan that is expected to dampen the government's recent efforts to open a channel of communication with the new US government for return to the 2015 nuclear pact.

Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, the council spokesman, said the parliament’s amendment to Article 6 of the proposed plan was approved as it was not found to be violating the country’s constitution or religious laws.

According to official sources, Parliament Speaker Baqer Qalibaf has sent a letter to President Hassan Rouhani informing him of the decision.

This comes a day after the parliament adopted a plan that requires the government to resume 20% uranium enrichment and increase the stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU).

The government and parliament have been at loggerheads over response to the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed on the outskirts of Tehran on Friday.

Rouhani, at a Cabinet session on Wednesday, said his government does not agree with the parliament's plan and termed it "harmful" for diplomatic activities.

On Tuesday, government spokesman Ali Rabiee had also lashed out at the lawmakers, saying the parliament has "no right" to interfere in matters related to the 2015 nuclear accord, as it was the "sole responsibility" of National Security Council.

He said the plan purportedly aimed at "ending sanctions" would lead to "permanent sanctions" on Iran.

source: News Feed
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