The White House is refusing to make public the details of the implementation agreement codified this weekend regarding the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), and has even reportedly committed to a secret side deal with Iran that describes the concessions that the Islamic republic is obligated to make. The Los Angeles Times late on Monday conveyed the details of an interview, conducted by the state-linked Iranian Students News Agency, in which Iran’s chief negotiator Abbas Araqchi outlined an informal, 30-page text that details among other things the JPA’s implementation timeline.
In his interview, Araqchi touched on the sensitive issue of how much latitude Iran will have to continue its nuclear research and development. U.S. officials said Sunday that Iran would be allowed to continue existing research and development projects and with pencil-and-paper design work, but not to advance research with new projects. Araqchi, however, implied that the program would have wide latitude.
“No facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative and nuclear research will be expanded,” he said. “All research into a new generation of centrifuges will continue.”
The Times sought clarification regarding the addendum from the White House and was referred to the State Department. The State Department did not make a comment available. The opacity is likely to fuel unease over the willingness or ability of the Obama administration to extract concessions from Tehran. White House and State Department officials have in recent weeks come under criticism for falsely implying to reporters that Iran had agreed to halt development of its plutonium program and its ballistic missile program. The State Department had previously all but flat out lied to reporters about ongoing Iran talks. It is unlikely that either journalists or lawmakers will be inclined to take the administration’s assurances regarding the JPA’s implementation at face value.
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