Posted tagged ‘Nuke deal’

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Breaching Nuke Deal

March 4, 2016

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Breaching Nuke Deal Obama administration dismisses criticism

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March 3, 2016 1:40 pm

Source: Iran Accuses U.S. Of Breaching Nuke Deal

Senior Iranian officials this week accused the Obama administration of failing to uphold its end of the nuclear agreement, saying that the Islamic Republic has not been given full access to international banking tools.

The Iranian leaders “lashed out” at the United States in their comments and maintained that the Islamic Republic continues to have many disagreements with the Obama administration, according to remarks published in the country’s state-controlled media.

“Our differences with the U.S. have remained in place,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, a key figure in the nuclear discussions, said Wednesday in front of reporters in Tehran.

“They have not been resolved yet,” Zarif added, explaining that the implementation of the nuclear deal has not soothed relations between Washington and Tehran.

The comments come on the heels of an election in Iran that ushered in a large number of hard-line candidates who hold anti-American views. The Obama administration has declined to comment on the outcome.

The speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, also accused the U.S. of failing to uphold the nuclear agreement.

“After the deal, Iran fully implemented its end of the bargain. Unfortunately, other parties are yet to fully commit themselves to the deal and reciprocate,” Larijani said Wednesday during a meeting in Tehran with Romania’s foreign minister.

Larijani took aim at the United States and other Western governments for not moving quickly enough to grant Iran access to international banks and other markets.

This “delayed compliance” by the West has prevented Iran from moving forward “with its policies and plans to normalize and expand economic, trade, and banking ties with its international partners,” Larijani said, according to the state-controlled Fars News Agency.

When asked to comment on the rhetoric, a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran’s comments are misleading and that the U.S. has upheld all of its responsibilities under the deal.

“In exchange for the [International Atomic Energy Agency]-verified completion of Iran’s nuclear steps, we have taken all of the necessary steps to lift the nuclear-related sanctions we committed to lift on Implementation Day,” the official said.

Final vote tallies published following last Friday’s election in Iran show that a large number of hard-line candidates won seats in Iran’s parliament and on its powerful Assembly of Experts, which will install the next Ayatollah.

Obama administration officials continue to tell reporters that they are reserving judgment until more is known about the election results.

While regional experts do not expect the election to spark greater moderation in Tehran, those elected support the nuclear deal, particularly the $150 billion received in sanctions relief.

“The recent elections solidify the support for the deal in the Islamic Republic. Even though the candidate field was rigged, the results were a clear signal that the majority of Iranians approve of the nuclear agreement and expect improvements to their economic situations from it,” said Amir Toumaj, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“The most prominent radical members of parliament who opposed the agreement and impeded President [Hassan] Rouhani’s economic policies were voted out, and the radicals who have seats in the next parliament generally support the deal,” Tourmaj said. “The parliament results, however, are far from clear, as roughly 20 percent of seats will go to runoffs due in April. Rouhani can find a more cooperative parliament to pass his economic policies, though it wouldn’t necessarily be smooth sailing.”

Some U.S. lawmakers also expressed concern about the elections.

“Until Iran stops being the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, militarily propping up Assad the butcher in Syria, and spreading violence and instability throughout the Middle East, all this talk about ‘reformers’ taking hold in Tehran seems premature,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), a vocal opponent of the Iranian regime, told the Free Beacon earlier this week. “What’s more, some newly-elected ‘reformers’ seem anything but moderate, such as Kazim Jalali, who called for the death penalty against leaders of the Green Movement in 2011.”

Rouhani ties Iran cooperation on Mideast violence to nuke deal

September 25, 2014

Rouhani ties Iran cooperation on Mideast violence to nuke deal, Fox News, September 25, 2014

UN General Assembly_Rouhani_AP_660In this Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 photo, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran walks in before addressing the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. (AP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday sought to leverage the crisis in the Middle East to ease sanctions on his country as part of nuclear talks, suggesting during a United Nations address that security cooperation between Iran and other nations could only occur if they struck a favorable nuclear deal.

The Iranian president, meanwhile, sought to lay the blame for raging violence in the Middle East at the feet of western nations. He strongly condemned terrorism and described it as a serious threat, but also said the West’s “blunders” in the region have created a “haven for terrorists and extremists.” He alleged that attempts to “export” democracy have created “weak and vulnerable governments.”

While focusing in large part on violent extremists in the region, Rouhani made clear Iran’s cooperation in addressing these threats hinges on the outcome of ongoing nuclear talks – as he once again urged other nations to drop what he described as “excessive demands.”

Rouhani said a deal could mark the “beginning of multilateral cooperation” and allow for “greater focus on some very important regional issues such as combating violence and extremism.”

But, he said: “The people of Iran who have been subjected to pressures … as a result of continued sanctions cannot place trust in any security cooperation between their governments with those who have imposed sanctions.”

Whether Iran’s cooperation in addressing Middle East unrest will serve as an effective bargaining chip remains to be seen.

The U.S. publicly has said it will not cooperate militarily or share intelligence with Iran to address the Islamic State threat.

Yet Secretary of State John Kerry said this week he was “open to have a conversation at some point in time if there’s a way to find something constructive.” And the U.S. reportedly notified Iran in advance of plans to strike inside Syria.

In his address to world leaders late Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron also said Iran could help in defeating the terror group’s threat. Cameron spoke hours after meeting in person with Rouhani, the first meeting between the British and Iranian leaders since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

The world leaders spoke as the U.S., Iran and other nations resume nuclear talks after a two-month hiatus.

They are running up against a Nov. 24 deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for easing sanctions.

Tehran, though, is resisting U.S. calls that it gut a nuclear program that enriches uranium, a process that can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of a nuclear warhead. GOP lawmakers have also warned that the Obama administration may be willing to give too much ground to Iran in pursuit of an agreement.

Failure to seal a deal could see a return to confrontation, including U.S. and Israeli threats of military means as a last resort to slow Iran’s nuclear program.

“My message to Iran’s leaders and people is simple: Do not let this opportunity pass,” President Obama said Wednesday in his own address to world leaders.

The disagreement has complicated efforts to regarding the Islamic State menace.

In comments on the eve of his own General Assembly speech, Rouhani suggested his country was ready to join Washington and others in opposing the Islamic State. But he said the U.S. needed to move beyond “insignificant” fears that his country seeks nuclear arms.

At the same time, he was critical of the U.S. bombing campaign of Islamic State group strongholds and the growing coalition of countries seeking to stop the extremists by military means. “Bombing and airstrikes are not the appropriate way,” Rouhani said, warning that “extraterritorial interference … in fact only feeds and strengthens terrorism.”

There are other issues. American officials are furious with Iran for detaining Jason Rezarian, a Washington Post journalist who has both American and Iranian citizenship, as well as his wife.

Iranian officials have not specifically said why the couple is being held, and Rouhani has dodged questions about their fate. Asked again Wednesday about Rezarian, he said he would be freed if he is innocent of any crime.