No deal?
Iran: Vienna Text Not an 'Agreement, or Treaty'

Statements by nuclear chief Salehi raise question: does the unsigned deal with Iran even obligate it to do anything?

Mark Langfan, A7 UN reporter,

Mohammad Javad Zarif (center) and Ali Akbar Salehi with EU, German and Russian FMs
Mohammad Javad Zarif (center) and Ali Akbar Salehi with EU, German and Russian FMs

IRNA, the Iranian state news agency, quotes Ali-Akbar Salehi, Head Nuclear Negotiator and Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), as stating that “The [Vienna JCPOA] text is not regarded as an international agreement, convention, or treaty. Therefore, it has been named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

Salehi made the statement in the context of whether the JCPOA had to be referred to the Iranian parliament – or Majlis – for approval.

Salehi also reportedly asserted that “to his knowledge, only international conventions and treaties had to be referred to the Iranian parliament for approval,” and therefore, the government did not have to send the JCPOA for approval to the Iranian Parliament.

IRNA added that according to Salehi, “the term Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action contains itself, it is not an international convention or pact so he could not see why it should be referred to [the Iranian] parliament.”

Salehi’s assertion that the JCPOA is not an “international agreement, convention, or treaty” jibes with the JCPOA document itself, which states that the entire document is “voluntary” on all the parties.

The quotes by the lead Iranian negotiator raises the question of what exactly the JCPOA is, and whether the unsigned JCPOA obligates Iran or any of the P5+1 countries to do anything.

Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Reza Najafi, on Saturday voiced his objection to the United States Senate's demand to be briefed about the contents of the recently signed roadmap of cooperation between Tehran and the IAEA, reports the semi-official Fars news agency.

Najafi warned the UN nuclear watchdog to avoid disclosing its secret agreements with Tehran.

Salehi's deputy at the AEOI said on Saturday that despite the Iran nuclear deal sealed last month, the agreement will not bring a rapprochement between the US and the Islamic republic.

The official, Mohammad Ahmadian, was quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency saying "the US hostility towards Iran has no ending and they attempt to strike a blow at the Islamic Iran all the time."

"We shouldn’t imagine that the US has turned into Iran's friend," he added, undermining US President Barack Obama's claims that the deal will lead to a change in national stance by the leading state sponsor of terror.