In a press conference yesterday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that he didn’t want the Iranian legislature to approve the nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Rouhani told a news conference that the deal was a political understanding reached with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, not a pact requiring parliamentary approval. The deal also says Iran would implement the terms voluntarily, he said. …

“If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government . it will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it,” Rouhani said. “Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?” …

The president said a parliamentary vote would benefit the U.S. and its allies, not Iran.

Similarly, Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported, “President Rouhani underlined that the submission of the JCPOA to the Parliament would mean that the president would have to sign the JCPOA, an extra legal commitment that the administration has already avoided.”

So Iran doesn’t want to be bound legally by the JCPOA.

Rouhani is correct about the voluntary nature of the deal for Iran.

Iran is only called upon to observe the terms of the Additional Protocol, which the administration boasts will keep Iran from cheating, provisionally. It is only obligated to ratify the Additional Protocol after enjoying billions in sanctions relief for eight years.

Contrast this with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s response to Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R – Ark.) letter in March:

The Iranian Foreign Minister added that “Change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran`s peaceful nuclear program.” He continued “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law.

He emphasized that if the current negotiation with P5+1 result in a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the US, but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.

Zarif expressed the hope that his comments “may enrich the knowledge of the authors to recognize that according to international law, Congress may not modify the terms of the agreement at any time as they claim, and if Congress adopts any measure to impede its implementation, it will have committed a material breach of US obligations.

That’s the way Iran wants the deal, something that binds the rest of the world, but not Iran.

Keep in mind too, that Rouhani boasted of duping the West during nuclear negotiations a decade ago when Iran got its illicit enrichment program started.

Last week I cited five reasons that Democrats should feel hesitant about supporting the deal. This past week Sen. Tom Carper (D – Del.) announced his support for the deal citing, in part the “moderate” Rouhani.

If you’re a Democrat and even if you buy all of the administration’s arguments, why would you support a deal that binds the United States but makes Iran’s commitments voluntary?

[Photo: wochit news / YouTube ]