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Sidelining attempts to interrupt the Iranian nuclear deal

The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday May 6 on a bill to give Congress the right to approve or reject a nuclear deal with Iran

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Published: Updated:

The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday May 6 on a bill to give Congress the right to approve or reject a nuclear deal with Iran. Iranian nuclear talks with Western powers finally succeed in reaching a framework agreement on April 2. This framework agreement paved the path for the negotiators, especially in Iran and the United States, to outline the agreement’s details to walk towards a possible deal by end of June.

Now at this critical stage, extending talks is no longer an option for all parties and the writing of the text continues on in Vienna. As much as the negotiators are speeding to wrap-up their work before the deadline, their opponents are actively attempting to dismantle the talks.

While Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is trying hard to stay away from domestic U.S. politics and as Congress threatens the nuclear deal, Iranians are also acting out.

Iranians react

On Sunday, Iran’s members of parliament reacted directly to the U.S. Senate’s legislation and the power given to the U.S. Congress to review the nuclear deal with Iran. Over 200 members of the parliament members made a statement confirming their will to act. The move came a day after Iranians submitted another request that talks be halted until U.S. threats were lifted. However, House Speaker Dr. Ali Larijani opposed them immediately. Accordingly, Larijani called the bill “thoughtless” and warned the MPs against such “fast action.”

Of course there is no one in Iran, except Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the power to halt the nuclear talks and even the MP’s threat shouldn’t be sees as anything more than a bluff.

Recently, Iranian officials found a way to escape of the U.S. Congress and Senate deadlock to avoid direct confrontation with them. “We are negotiating with P5+1 not only with the U.S” President Hassan Rowhani of Iran said publicly. Of course, Iran is negotiating with the P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) but it’s clear that the major sides of these talks are Iran and the U.S.

IRNA Sate official news agency reported that Hassan Naqavi Hosseini, a MP’s spokesman for the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, quoted Abaas Araqchi, top nuclear negotiator, who was elaborating on U.S. Congress working rules and procedures.

“A Senate intervention can only deter the execution of a nuclear deal for approximately two months and has no other effect,” Araqchi was quoted saying.

“If we assume that Congress can override the U.S. President's veto, who will lose? Certainly, Americans will. Because we will continue our path, P5+1 unity will be lost, sanctions will be shaken, and out coming results will be for Iran,” the senior negotiator told the parliamentary commission.

The two presidents of Iran and the United Sated both seek success. For the U.S., it seeks success for the sake of peace in the Middle East and to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities while Iran seeks an end to sanctions and international prestige.

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Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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