WASHINGTON – World powers have surrendered to Iranian interests with the
implementation of the interim nuclear deal forged in Geneva, Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.
Sending out the message via Twitter,
Rouhani said Iran’s relationship with the world is based on its national
interests, and that the agreement reached in Geneva marked a global surrender to
Iran’s “national will.”
The United States brushed off the remark, with
White House press secretary Jay Carney calling it unsurprising.
Iranians are describing the agreement in a certain way for their domestic
audience,” Carney told reporters on Tuesday. “It doesn’t matter what they say.
It matters what they do.”
The interim deal was reached in November
between Iran and the P5+1 – the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and
Germany – and will begin on January 20, when Iran is to halt enrichment of
uranium and construction at a heavy-water plutonium plant in Arak, in exchange
for $7 billion-$10b. in sanctions relief.
The parties will then have six
months to negotiate a comprehensive solution to the long-standing nuclear
impasse, with the option of a sixmonth extension should all parties agree on
The first step toward comprehensive negotiations will likely be
strategic planning on the part of the P5, State Department deputy spokeswoman
Marie Harf said on Tuesday.
Talks with the Iranians are not expected to
begin until late February, after world powers agree on a framework in which to
The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that a side deal had
been reached between the US and Iran regarding implementation of the Geneva deal
that would not be made public.
The report asserted that the “nonpaper”
included details of how the joint commission overseeing the deal’s
implementation would be operated.
But the Los Angeles outlet misreported
the definition of nonpaper as a diplomatic term: such a proposal is a draft, not
an official document, in foreign relations.
Nevertheless, the claim is
being taken seriously by those already skeptical of the deal.
deeply concerned by recent reports that the Obama administration has negotiated
what some are calling a ‘secret side deal’ with Iran regarding the future of its
nuclear program,” Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain said on Tuesday in a
“Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator has claimed that, under
this possible agreement, Iran will be permitted to keep all of its nuclear
facilities open, continue its enrichment of uranium, and maintain and even
expand its nuclear research, including into next-generation
Responding to the report, Carney said that the “technical
plans were submitted to the IAEA,” and that no secret agreement
“There’s nothing secret here,” Harf said. “We will make the text
available to Congress and the public.”