White House: Iran-IAEA pacts are not 'side deals'

White House: Iran-IAEA pacts are not 'side deals'
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Agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are not secret “side deals” to the main nuclear pact between Tehran and six world powers, the White House said Thursday. 
 
“This does not represent some sort of side deal,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. 
 
Republicans have seized on the existence of what they call “side deals” between Iran and the IAEA to build support against the deal in Congress. 
 
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The bilateral agreements deal with the Iran’s past nuclear activity for military purposes and inspections at the Parchin military base, one of the most sensitive sites involved in the negotiations. 
 
Republican criticism intensified Wednesday, when national security adviser Susan Rice acknowledged the existence of those agreements, saying the U.S. is satisfied” with the terms. 
 
Rice said U.S. officials have been informed of the contents of the deals. She pledged that lawmakers would be briefed in a classified setting, but said the text would not be provided.  
 
GOP leaders in the House and Senate, however, demanded to see the full text of the deals. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) argued the 60-day period for Congress to review the agreement should be pushed back until lawmakers see the documents. 
 
Earnest dismissed those concerns, saying lawmakers have all the information necessary to judge the deal, which limits Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.   
 
“I know there has been a suggestion by some Republicans that there are some agreements that were cut off to the side,” Earnest said. “The fact is, this is a critical part of the agreement.”
 
Earnest said Iran would not receive money from sanctions relief until it provides information the IAEA needs to complete a report on its military-related nuclear activities. 
 
He stressed the agency is a well-trusted "neutral party" and its report will be made public.
 
“This deal can not go forward until that information and that access has been provided to the nuclear experts at the IAEA,” he said. 
 
Earnest acknowledged that information regarding the Iran-IAEA pacts was not provided to lawmakers Wednesday during classified briefings for House and Senate members held by Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
 
But Earnest pledged that lawmakers will receive classified briefings on the bilateral pacts. 
 
“Our negotiators will, in a classified setting, have a conversation with those members of Congress about what exactly the IAEA is seeking,” he said.