Iran's Parliament speaker says he supports nuclear deal

AP News
Posted: Aug 31, 2015 4:48 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran's Parliament speaker said Monday that he supports the historic nuclear deal with world powers aimed at reining in Tehran's efforts to build a bomb.

Ali Larijani's comments at a global conference of speakers of parliament came two days after Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said he opposed a parliamentary vote on the agreement because its terms would turn into legal obligations if passed by lawmakers.

Larijani, formerly Iran's top nuclear negotiator, didn't mention a possible vote. But he reiterated that his country's nuclear program is peaceful and said in the negotiations "Iran once again showed that bullying doesn't work anymore."

The Iranian people's "perseverance and ultimately their resistance became victorious over sanctions and intimidation and the difficult and intensive nuclear talks led to an agreement which is of course supported by us," he told the conference which is held every five years by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the global organization of lawmakers.

Rouhani said at a news conference on Saturday that the nuclear deal was a political understanding reached with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, not a pact requiring parliamentary approval.

The agreement calls for limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. It also says Iran would implement the terms voluntarily, Rouhani said.

Larijani was also critical of "warmongering under the pretext of expanding democracy," saying this led to several wars against "the oppressed people of Palestine and the military atrocities of the Zionist regime."

Rouhani has not repeated his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust and call for Israel's destruction, but he has been highly critical of the Israeli "occupation" of Palestine.

Taking aim at the United States and its allies without naming any country, Larijani was also critical of "governments that are trying to enforce democracy "with bombs and machine guns" that have led to "occupation and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the war in Yemen and armed conflicts in Syria."

He made no mention of Iran's role in supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia which is allied with Assad's forces, or of its role in supporting Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Iraq's Shiite-led government.