The document is really more of a wishlist. It repeats past declarations on the scope of Iran’s atomic ambitions, which now may have little to do with the compromises in store as negotiators seek to seal the pact by June 30.
What it does show, however, is that President Obama isn’t the only one facing skeptical and quizzical representatives to sell the merits of the possible accord.
The Iranian parliament, known as the majlis, does not carry the same constitutional clout as Congress. All key policy decisions — security, foreign affairs and, yes, nuclear deals — rest with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his ruling inner circle.
But the majlis is not totally anemic or passive. Majlis members wage ideological clashes with the same passions as lawmakers in Washington. They also have soured past presidential fortunes — with tacit approval from Khamenei — such as forcing then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to face questioning over alleged mismanagement or blocking reform efforts by his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami.
The nuclear talks wouldn’t have progressed this far without the backing of Khamenei. That means the Iranian opposition voices might be loud, but they are unlikely to seriously undercut the homestretch negotiations as long as he stays on board.
Yet it suggests that hard-liners are eager to show that they are not sidelined in Iranian affairs, with parliamentary elections looming next year. They also hope that they have enough leverage left to push Rouhani’s government — via Khamenei — to seek more concessions in Iran's favor before a nuclear deal is reached.
The world is familiar with grandstanding in Congress aimed at domestic audiences — such as freshman Republican Rep. Tom Cotton’s hawkish denunciations of the deal. Iranian lawmakers do the same when there are political points to be scored.
And the “recommendations” issued Wednesday by a group of Iranian lawmakers carry much of the same inflexible tone as that of Cotton and his GOP allies.
The 12-point document, published by Iran's Fars News Agency, insists that a final deal should stick to “red lines” previously outlined by Khamenei before the give-and-take of the nuclear talks.
They include keeping the current level of about 10,000 nuclear fuel-producing centrifuges. The U.S. fact sheet, released after the framework was hammered out this month in Switzerland, said Iran would cut the number of working centrifuges to about 5,000.
The Iranian lawmakers also insisted that international sanctions be lifted immediately after the final deal is reached. World powers envision a gradual easing of the economic embargoes as Iran hits milestones in rolling back its nuclear program.
Even the length of the final deal was questioned by the Iranian opponents. The United States and others have sketched out a time frame as long as two decades. Iran's hard-liners say it should expire after five years.
The head of the parliament's nuclear committee, Ebrahim Karkhaneyee, who presented the document, has said that anything short of a full withdrawal of sanctions is "useless" for Iran.