Iran: White House puffing up nuclear deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday said the White House is overstating the concessions it won in the six-month nuclear deal with Tehran, saying that in the agreement, "we did not agree to dismantle anything."

"The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments," Zarif told CNN.


"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 continued. "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."

Under details of the plan released by the Obama administration, Iran is required to dilute its stockpile of uranium enriched at a level higher than the 5 percent necessary for nuclear power.

The deal also mandates that Iran freeze all enrichment above 5 percent, "dismantle the technical connections required to enrich" above that level, and allow increased inspections of their nuclear sites.

In exchange, the U.S. offered to roll back some economic sanctions against Iran.

Zarif said that American officials "don't need to over-emphasize" the result of the negotiations.

"We are not dismantling any centrifuges, we're not dismantling any equipment, we're simply not producing, not enriching over 5 percent," he said.

Since the agreement was struck, American and Iranian officials have disputed how to characterize the deal. On Twitter, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani bragged that world powers had "surrendered" to Iran's "will" with the agreement.

But White House press secretary Jay Carney brushed off the remark.

“It's not surprising to us, nor should it be to you, that the Iranians are describing the agreement in a certain way for their domestic audience," Carney said.

"It doesn’t matter what they say; it matters what they do ... I think the issue here is the agreements that Iran has made, the fact that it has committed itself to halting progress on its nuclear program, rolling back key aspects of it, and engaging in further negotiations in pursuit of a comprehensive solution to this problem."