Iran document on amended JCPOA includes anti-Israel section

The flag of Iran. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

This week, several news outlets have reported that the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, approved the nuclear deal that was signed in July with world powers, known as the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in an apparent victory for President Hassan Rouhani. On Thursday, Iranian state television announced that the document was also approved by the Guardian Council, a top 12-member leadership council half-appointed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Israel HayomThe Guardian Council must approve all bills before they become laws.

But as wrote on Wednesday, these votes are in fact based on an amended document that includes a number of provisions which are different from the original JCPOA document. One of the glaring changes, which was first reported by The Jewish Press, was the inclusion of a provision in favor of the elimination of Israel's nuclear program.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated the text of a report by the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) detailing the votes of the parliament on the proposed and approved amendments, as well as the final vote on the entire document. According to an English translation of the Hebrew translation provided by MEMRI to, in addition to its own analysis of some of the amendments, paragraph 1 has been amended to state that "the [Iranian] government must act on the issue of a Middle East without nuclear weapons, and in particular to disarm the Zionist regime from nuclear weapons."

Yes, that is exactly how it sounds.

An amendment to the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 powers stipulates that Israel's nuclear program should be eliminated. Furthermore, according to MEMRI's translation, after the original approval of this particular amendment on Tuesday, the deputies shouted "death to Israel."

Journalist Amir Taheri predicted such changes in an article for the Gatestone Institute on Oct. 12. According to Taheri, Mohsen Zakani, who heads the original committee that examined the text, said that "the changes we seek would require substantial rewriting of the text."

In another significant change, the Iranian text was amended to say that "the government will monitor any non-performance by the other party [to the agreement] in the matter of failing to lift the sanctions, or restoring the canceled sanctions, or imposing sanctions for any another reason, and will take steps to actualize the rights of the Iranian nation and to terminate the voluntary cooperation...and to handle the rapid expansion of the Iranian nuclear program for peaceful purposes, so that within two years the enrichment potential in Iran will reach 190,000 SWU."

MEMRI explained that "given that the non-cancellation of the sanctions is part of the JCPOA (according to the JCPOA, U.S. sanctions will be merely 'suspended,' rather than canceled, so as to allow their 'snapback' in the case of an Iranian violation); and given that the re-imposition of sanctions, and the imposition of new sanctions, in case of an Iranian violation are likewise part of the JCPOA, it follows that the Majlis decision constitutes ratification of a nonexistent document. It was not a ratification of the JCPOA as it stands."

Posted on October 15, 2015 .