Iranian Official Says Obama Administration Mischaracterizing Interim Nuclear Deal

The country’s foreign minister said Iran doesn’t have to “dismantle anything.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L), European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (C ) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2ndR) wait prior to a meeting on November 9, 2013, on the third day of talks on Iran's nuclear programme at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva Switzerland. Crunch talks between Iran and world powers stretched into an unscheduled third day on November 9 as top diplomats pushed for a deal to end the decade-old standoff over Iran's nuclear programme. 
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Jordain Carney
Jan. 23, 2014, 4:11 a.m.

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. 


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