Iran parliament to examine nuclear resumption bill
TEHRAN - Iran's parliament agreed Tuesday to examine a bill asking the government to resume all its nuclear activities in the event of fresh US sanctions, local media reported.
Under an interim deal struck in 2013, Iran froze its uranium enrichment in exchange for limited sanctions relief. But two deadlines for a full accord cutting off Iran's pathway to an atomic bomb have been missed.
If passed, the bill would repeal the temporary agreement and torpedo hopes of a lasting deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations, which has to be reached by the end of June.
The draft law, supported by 220 of 290 lawmakers, said that, in the event of new US sanctions, "Iran is obliged to immediately annul the interim Geneva agreement and take a series of measures to exercise the nation's nuclear rights."
It also stipulates that Iran would resume enrichment and accelerate construction of its controversial Arak heavy water reactor.
Media did not say when the text may be submitted to a parliamentary vote.
Last week the US Senate Banking Committee approved a measure that would rachet up sanctions on Iran in the event of the talks hitting an impasse.
It would gradually impose sanctions against Iran if, by July 1, no final deal is reached in the talks under way between Tehran and the P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany.
The group has been seeking a comprehensive accord that would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb in return for an easing of economic sanctions.
Iran says its nuclear programme only has civilian aims and that there is no plan to build a bomb.