Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of lying to the American people and Congress, just hours after President Barack Obama announced at the White House a supposed breakthrough in negotiations with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear weaponization program.
Foreign Minister Zarif said on April 2 that Iran had succeeded getting the U.S. to reduce its sanctions in exchange for concessions such as a reduction in the country’s uranium enrichment process, which is necessary to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. After a press conference offered by Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as the release of a fact sheet by the Obama administration, Zarif resorted to Twitter to denounce what he called lies. “The solutions are good for all, as they stand,” Zarif tweeted. “There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on.”
Zarif denied Kerry’s claims that the relief of sanctions would be conducted in phases, and only if it can be verified that Iran is not conducting nuclear weaponization work. The Iranian diplomat said that the U.S. 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 tweeted. Zarif also suggested a correction, writing “Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How about this?”
On the evening of April 2, Zarif said that the 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 development.”
“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.” Iran will keep its centrifuges at Fordow, which provide enriched uranium. Zarif said eventually “all U.S. nuclear related secondary sanctions will be terminated,” he said. “This, I think, would be a major step forward.” He also claimed that Iran will be enabled to sell enriched uranium on the international market place.
In the past, Iran has issued similar denials following negotiations.
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