A soldier walks around outside a large dusty industrial facility
A view of the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, Aug. 21, 2010. (Photo/JTA-IIPA via Getty Images)

New Iranian law ramps up nuclear program — if Biden doesn’t reenter nuclear deal

Iran’s parliament passed a law on Wednesday aimed at pressuring President-elect Joe Biden to reenter the Iran nuclear deal almost as soon as he assumes office.

The bill gives the United States until early February to lift sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump after abandoning the 2015 agreement more than two years ago. Otherwise, Iran will ban entry to international nuclear inspectors and increase uranium enrichment to a level closer to weapons-ready.

Biden has said he is ready to reenter the deal as soon as possible, and then negotiate improvements, but early February comes barely two weeks into his term.

The law, passed by the majority hard-liner parliament, was spurred in part by the assassination last week of Iran’s top nuclear scientist. Iran has blamed Israel for the killing. Israel’s government has not commented.

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, opposed the law but to little avail, The New York Times reported. Rouhani, a relative moderate, is eager to have the U.S. return to the deal brokered during the Obama administration, when Biden was vice president.

Ron Kampeas

JTA D.C. bureau chief

JTA

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