White House misleading Congress, American people with fact sheet
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Just
hours after the announcement of what the United States characterized as a
historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the country’s leading
negotiator lashed out at the Obama administration for lying about the details of
a tentative framework.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused
the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact
sheet it released following the culmination of negotiations with the
Zarif bragged in
an earlier press conference with reporters that the United States had
tentatively agreed to let it continue the enrichment of uranium, the key
component in a nuclear bomb, as well as key nuclear research.
Zarif additionally said Iran would have all
nuclear-related sanctions lifted once a final deal is signed and that the
country would not be forced to shut down any of its currently operating nuclear
Following a subsequent press conference by
Secretary of State John Kerry—and release of a administration fact sheet on
Iranian concessions—Zarif lashed out on Twitter over what he dubbed lies.
“The solutions are good for all, as they
stand,” he tweeted.
“There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on.”
Zarif went on to push back against claims by
Kerry that the sanctions relief would be implemented in a phased fashion—and
only after Iran verifies that it is not conducting any work on the nuclear
Zarif, echoing previous comments, said the
United States has promised an immediate termination of sanctions.
“Iran/5+1 Statement: ‘US will cease the
application of ALL nuclear-related secondary economic and financial
sanctions.’ Is this gradual?” he wrote
He then suggested
a correction: “Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the
implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How
The pushback from Iran’s chief diplomat
follows a pattern of similar accusations by senior Iranian political figures
after the announcement of previous agreements.
Following the signing of an interim agreement
with Iran aimed at scaling back its nuclear work, Iran accused the United States
about details of the agreement.
On Thursday evening, Zarif told reporters the
latest agreement allows Iran to keep operating its nuclear program.
“None of those measures” that will move to
scale back Iran’s program “include closing any of our facilities,” Zarif
said. “We will continue enriching; we will continue research and
“Our heavy water reactor will be modernized
and we will continue the Fordow facility,” Zarif said. “We will have
centrifuges installed in Fordow, but not enriching.”
The move to allow Iran to keep centrifuges at
Fordow, a controversial onetime military site, has elicited concern that Tehran
could ramp up its nuclear work with ease.
Zarif said that once a final agreement is
made, “all U.S. nuclear related secondary sanctions will be terminated,” he
said. “This, I think, would be a major step forward.”
Zarif also revealed that Iran will be allowed
to sell “enriched uranium” in the international market place and will be
“hopefully making some money” from it.