White House: No Iran sanctions relief yet
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Iran could soon receive billions of dollars in sanctions relief under the terms of its historic nuclear deal with world powers, but not quite yet, the White House said Friday.

Press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Tehran is “making important progress” toward dismantling elements of its nuclear program but that sanctions won’t be lifted until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) independently verifies the process is complete.

“We’re not going to take their word for it,” Earnest said.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBreitbart editor: Biden's son inked deal with Chinese government days after vice president’s trip State lawmakers pushing for carbon taxes aimed at the poor How America reached a 'What do you expect us to do' foreign policy MORE has indicated this week that the long-awaited moment could come for Iran within days.

But Earnest refused to say when the decision will be made to lift sanctions and release billions of dollars in frozen assets to Iran.

The spokesman said Iran has eliminated 90 percent of its nuclear stockpile, dismantled thousands of centrifuges and shut down its path to develop the nuclear materials needed used to build weapons — all under IAEA monitoring.

Sanctions relief for Tehran became even more politically charged after the country took 10 U.S. sailors into custody on Tuesday, an incident Republicans said was proof of the Obama administration’s weakness in dealing with Iran.

But Earnest rapped critics, saying they fail to acknowledge that Iran was racing toward a bomb before the deal was reached, a process halted by the agreement.

He also accused opponents of the deal of exaggerating the amount of sanctions relief Iran will receive. The amount is between $50 billion and $100 billion, not $150 billion as some, such as Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE, have stated.