National Security

White House pushes back on Iran pact

The White House on Thursday pushed back on a new report alleging the U.S. and other world powers secretly allowed Iran to skirt restrictions on its uranium stockpile under last year’s landmark nuclear pact. 

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest conceded he has not “read the precise report” but refuted the notion that Tehran is not in compliance with the international agreement. 

{mosads}“The argument that somehow this agreement was implemented before Iran came into compliance is just not true,” he told reporters on board Air Force One. 

The report, published by the Institute for Science and International Security, renewed charges from opponents of the deal that the Obama administration is being too secretive about the pact. 

They allege that the White House has offered too many concessions to Iran to keep the deal intact, eager to prop up a central element of President Obama’s foreign policy legacy. 

The report says that a panel that includes the U.S. and its five negotiating partners created loopholes that allow Iran to exceed the publicly announced amount of low-enriched uranium it is allowed to store at its own facilities. 

Low-enriched uranium can be refined into weapons-grade uranium that could be used to build a nuclear bomb. 

Earnest did not offer a line-by-line rebuttal of the report’s claims. But he said Iran “has been in compliance with the agreement” since Jan. 16, when the deal was implemented. 

“Right now as we speak, Iran is in compliance with the agreement,” he said. “That’s not my opinion, that’s not rhetoric, that’s not conjecture. That is a fact that is verified by international experts.”

He rejected the notion that the U.S. and other world powers relaxed the conditions in a rush to get the deal in place by January. 

“There was never a deadline in terms of the calendar,” he said. “The deadline was driven by Iran’s compliance with the agreement.”

And he dismissed the furor surrounding the report as another attempt by Republicans and other administration critics to undermine the pact. 

“The report that we’ve seen and the rhetoric that it has prompted is entirely consistent with the failure of critics of the deal to tear it down,” he said. 

Tags Barack Obama Iran Josh Earnest
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