A top Iranian official on Wednesday criticized the Obama administration’s characterization of the interim nuclear agreement, saying Iran “did not agree to dismantle anything.”
The short-term deal over Iran’s nuclear program took effect on Monday. Under the agreement, Iran will curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for limited sanctions relief — expected to total approximately $7 billion.
“The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments,” Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, told CNN.
According to a White House fact sheet released after the interim agreement was announced in November, Iran will “dismantle the technical connections” needed to enrich above 5 percent.
But Zarif pushed back against the assertion that this requirement was included in the deal. “If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment,” he said.
Another White House release last week about the interim agreement did not include the word “dismantle.” Diplomats from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran held talks about technical details over how the interim deal would be implemented after it was announced in November.
Talks on a long-term agreement concerning Iran’s nuclear program are expected to begin next month.