Iran claims secret nuclear side deal

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator claimed Monday that it had a secret side deal with the United States and other countries detailing its right to pursue nuclear research and development.

The assertion by Abbas Araqchi risks further complicating the Obama administration's uphill effort to prevent Congress from adopting new sanctions amid ongoing talks with Iran. The State Department quickly pushed back, describing the implementation agreement as “technical plans.”

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“Any documentation associated with implementation tracks completely with what we've described,” spokeswoman Marie Harf told The Los Angeles Times. “These are technical plans submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Monday that the text of the agreement will “absolutely” be shared with lawmakers.

“We fully expect to be able to share the text of the plan with Congress and are working with our international partners on how much and when we can share the information publicly and in what format,” he said. “So we’ll continue that effort, but I just wanted to make clear from the outset that we will absolutely be able to share the text with Congress.”

Araqchi told the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency that the implementation agreement reached over the weekend contains a “nonpaper” dealing with the operation of a joint commission to oversee how the deal is implemented as well as Iran’s right to continue nuclear research and development during the next several months, according to the Times. He described the commission as a dispute settlement body, while U.S. officials describe it as more of a discussion forum.

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