On Sunday, the Iranian parliament voted by an overwhelming majority on the draft law about “strategic measures to abolish sanctions,” which includes raising uranium enrichment to 20%.
The law includes restoring the old design of the Arak heavy water reactor. The parliamentary meeting was attended by 232 deputies out of 246, and they voted in favor of the resolution.
The Iranian Parliament Speaker, Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf, also affirmed that “the draft law on strategic measures to lift the sanctions will limit the terrorist acts waged by the enemy against Iran.”
This move comes in response to the events on November 27, in which the head of the Research and Technology Center at the Ministry of Defense, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed in an assassination operation.
In the last hour The Islamic Consultative Assembly of #Iran has announced that it has approved raising the rate of uranium enrichment to 20% and the gradual withdrawal from the nuclear agreement
— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) November 29, 2020
According to Tehran Times, the bill has been in preparation through this past week and this month, but gained special urgency after the Friday high profile assassination:
The Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee discussed on Tuesday a plan to significantly increase Iran’s nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment level.
The plan is part of a broader strategy that aims to lift the United States sanctions on Iran. Iranian lawmakers had put forward a “strategic bill to lift sanctions” in early November that aims to force the U.S. into lifting sanctions on Iran through doubling down on nuclear activities.
It seems more and more likely that the attack was meant to hinder negotiations between Iran and Biden. Seems Biden will definitely have his hands full in his first days in office.
— ليث ابو فاضل (@leithfadel) November 29, 2020
In a statement, the Ministry of Defense said that “armed terrorist elements attacked a car carrying Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the Research and Technology Center at the Ministry of Defense, on Friday afternoon.”
Fakhrizadeh’s vehicle was abruptly stopped by a pick-up before being fired upon repeatedly by the armed assailants.
A fierce clash would ensue between Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguards and the assailants, resulting in the death of two people.
Fakhrizadeh was rushed to the hospital shortly after the firefight, but was declared dead following failed attempts to revive the nuclear scientist.