Guardian Council approves JCPOA amid stormy Majlis session


Tehran, Oct 16, IRNA -- The Guardian Council gave its approval for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Wednesday, one day after the Majlis (parliament) ratified the bill during an unusual stormy session. The 12-member Guardian Council, consisting of six legal experts and six Islamic jurists, is tasked with vetting legislative and presidential candidates, supervision elections and overseeing the bills passed in Majlis for conformity with Islamic Republic principles. Iran and the five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany finalized text of JCPOA in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14. In a live television interview on Tuesday evening, President Hassan Rouhani offered his gratitude towards the lawmakers for adopting the bill for implementation of JCPOA. The Majlis gave its approval on Tuesday with 161 votes in favor, 59 against and 13 abstentions. It had passed a preliminary vote on Sunday by a smaller margin, after a chaotic debate in 290-seated chamber, of which 250 lawmakers were present at the legislature at the time of voting. The MPs in opposition claimed to be in position of about 200 proposals and there were loud arguments back and forth between the two sides. However, the vote casting procedure was finished in just 20 minutes. Following the approval Vice President and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said that Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani did a great job by getting JCPOA approved in Majlis and within two months the JCPOA will be fully implemented as planned. The bill sets out certain provisions for the implementation of the bill. Article 1 of the motion forbids either the production or application of nuclear arms and is based on a fatwa issued by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. The remaining articles laid emphasis on cooperation and mutual respect, the government's mindfulness of other party's potential to remove sanctions, and prevention of access by the IAEA to military sites unless allowed by Iran's Supreme National Security Council. LONG JOURNEY The nuclear negotiation train was set in motion with the 2003 Tehran Declaration. This train has travelled from station to station, from Brussels to Paris, Geneva, Istanbul, Baghdad, Moscow, Almaty and finally Vienna. During this time the Islamic Republic has been subject to intimidation through sanctions, threats of military strike by Israel and focus of scrutiny by international media. As a result of the bullying many foreign companies were forced to abandon their contractual obligations to Iran as they could not even guarantee the safety of their employees due to the looming military threat. History shows that such intimidation has spurred an atomic response. American hostility prompted China to seek nuclear arms. Beijing succeeded in 1964 with a thunderous blast. Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said in 1964: 'If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.' And they did. Israel's attack on the Iraqi Osirak reactor in 1981 hardened the resolve of Saddam Hussain and gave his nuclear ambitions new life. Historical evidence suggests that Saddam had yet to decide to seek nuclear weapons until the humiliation of the strike. On February 12, 2013 North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in defiance of the sanctions, the UN resolutions, threats from the West and global condemnation. In light of these facts the JCPOA is a very unique agreement in the contemporary history. In this troublesome world of military interventions, terrorism, global economic melt down, JCPOA is nothing short of a historic achievement, making this world a safer place. If only one can figure out why this was not achieved earlier. There is an Iranian proverb: Whenever you are able to stop the loss, it is profit from thereon. Some reasons for the success of this round of talks include some new factors. Direct negotiations between Iran and the U.S. is sighted as one of the major facilitators during the negotiation process. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, an American educated diplomat and US Secretary of State did not have any language barriers during the negotiations. During US President Barrack Obama's second term, he was able to deliver on some aspects of the promise of 'Change', which brought him to power in the first place. Another reason for the historic success is the flexibility and compromise from both sides that brought about a win-win situation. The moment the sanctions regime vanishes, arguably sometime in early 2016, Iran will become one of he most lucrative places in the world to invest. 'Describing Iran's potential Sajid Rizvi, editor-in-Chief of London-based EAPGROUP: 'It's very hard to beat its roll call of assets: a consumer market of more than 80 million, largely well educated people; a human capital mix that is even more attractive than Turkey; and in the all important energy front, a combination of as much oil as Saudi Arabia, as much gas as Russia, and arguably more mineral resources than Australia.' By Salman Parviz 1312