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Iranian MPs seek hardening of nuclear stance after top scientist killed

In this case, the government must decide whether a sharp response to the killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh might jeopardise the prospect of an improvement in ties with the United States once Joe Biden takes over from Donald Trump as president.

“The government believes that, under the constitution, the nuclear accord and the nuclear programme … are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme National Security Council … and Parliament cannot deal with this by itself,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters, according to state media.

A senior Iranian official said on Monday that Tehran suspected a foreign-based opposition group of complicity with Israel in the killing of Fakhrizadeh, whom Western powers see as the architect of an abandoned Iranian nuclear weapons programme. The group rejected the accusation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has declined to comment on the killing. Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said on Saturday he did not know who had carried it out.

The bill still needs approval in a second reading and endorsement by a clerical body to become law.


Iran has already breached the limits set in its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, who scrapped sanctions in return for curbs to Iran’s nuclear programme, to protest at Trump’s withdrawal from the accord.

The maximum fissile purity to which it has enriched uranium has remained around 4.5 per cent, above the deal’s 3.67 per cent cap but below the 20 per cent Iran had achieved before, a relatively short step from weapons grade.

Biden has said he will return the United States to the 2015 deal if Iran resumes compliance. Iran has always denied pursuing nuclear weapons.


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