Iran’s parliament on Tuesday approved a bill that would suspend U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities and require the government to boost its uranium enrichment if European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal do not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions.
The vote to approve the bill, which would also require approval by the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog, was a show of defiance after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last month. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say on all nuclear policies.
Parliament Speaker Mohmmad Baqer Ghalibaf was quoted by state TV as saying lawmakers were “hopeful to remove sanctions through this stern decision.”
The final vote tally wasn’t immediately released. But in a vote on whether to discuss the bill earlier Tuesday, the official IRNA news agency said 251 lawmakers in the 290-seat chamber voted in favor, after which many began chanting “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”
The bill would give European countries one month to ease sanctions on Iran’s key oil and gas sector, and to restore its access to the international banking system. The U.S. imposed crippling sanctions on Iran after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement, triggering a series of escalations between the two sides.
The bill would have authorities resume enriching uranium to 20%, which is below the threshold needed for nuclear weapons but higher than that required for civilian applications. It would also commission new centrifuges at nuclear facilities at Natanz and the underground Fordo site.