Two powerful Iranian legislative bodies, the parliament and the Guardians Council, approved the nuclear deal this week after months of deliberations (and, apparently, debates so intense they got physical).
Now the P5+1 can breathe a sigh of relief: the hardliners won’t thwart the nuclear deal after all. To cite The New York Times, the “final step” in the months-long process has been taken. The deal is now signed into law – by clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader himself.
While the Iranian parliament passed the deal by 161 votes in favor, 59 against and 13 abstentions, it insisted, according to the BBC, on limiting international inspectors’ access to military sites. And, lo and behold, some suspicions have already been raised that Iran is not keeping to the letter of the deal, with the US State Department saying this week that it would refer Iran to the UN for firing a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile in violation of a Security Council resolution (an action Fox News described as a “poke”) – but sounding far less assured on whether or not the action violated the deal as well. Media outlets immediately called Washington out on its unnecessary uncertainty (The Independent deemed it “quite a stretch”), as the deal clearly restricts such activities. Now, after safely making the October 15 deadline for the parties’ official adoption of the accord, it remains to be seen just how quickly Iran will get to work on dismantling those centrifuges…
But perhaps it doesn’t really matter. According to an analysis which appeared in The Independent this week, even if Iran puts “pen to paper” and ratifies the accord, it may not “make the slightest difference” in “restraining Iran’s conduct on the world stage” – perhaps even quite the contrary, emboldening it to “exploit turmoil” to “advance its own hegemonic ambitions,” not to mention continue its shocking execution spree.