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Zarif and Bashar Assad Photo: EPA
Zarif and Bashar Assad Photo: EPA
 
 

 

Iran FM on nuclear deal: We did not agree to dismantle anything

Mohammad Zarif says Tehran capable of returning to former capacity, blames White House for painting misleading picture of six-month agreement

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 01.23.14, 08:59 / Israel News

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN on Wednesday evening that he blamed the White House for an exaggerated description of the six-month nuclear deal.

 

 

    He said the Americans painted a picture by which Iran would completely take apart its nuclear program, but nowhere in the agreement does it mention that, and that Iran can in fact return to its former nuclear capacity whenever it chooses.

     

    IAEA inspectors dismantle centrifuges in Natanz (Photo: EPA)
    IAEA inspectors dismantle centrifuges in Natanz (Photo: EPA)

     

    "The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments," he said. "We did not agree to dismantle anything."

     

    He continued to attack the American administration, saying that the Americans are showing the world a different version of what was actually signed.

     

    "The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran's nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again," he said, telling the CNN interviewer to read the agreement. "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."

     

    While Zarif said that the Iranians and the world powers could renege on the agreement, it was made clear that the Americans still had the power to apply further sanctions in the event Tehran would cancel the deal.

     

    Zarif's harsh words are coming in response to President Barack Obama's statement a week and a half ago.

     

    "Beginning January 20th, Iran will for the first time start eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible," he said.

     

    "Iran has agreed to limit its enrichment capability by not installing or starting up additional centrifuges or using next-generation centrifuges. New and more frequent inspections of Iran's nuclear sites will allow the world to verify that Iran is keeping its commitments."

     

    Obama made the statement to try to convince Congress not to put any more sanctions on Iran, which would cause the deal to cave in.

     

    Congress officials said the US is hoping that there will be permanent deal talks starting by the middle of next month. They said they have begun preparing, along with the P5+1 already for those talks.

     

    This week the temporary deal was put into effect. IAEA inspectors began disconnecting centrifuges in Natanz. They also said that nuclear activities in Fordo have terminated.

     

    In conjunction, the US and EU have removed part of the sanctions, including oil exports and trade in metals.

     

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