Senior Iranian officials are accusing the Obama administration of lying about the details of the recent nuclear accord in order to soothe fears among U.S. lawmakers and Americans about the implications of the deal, which will release billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic while temporarily freezing its nuclear program, according to reports from Iran’s state-controlled media.
As Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior Obama administration figures launch a full-court press to convince Congress to approve the deal, Iranian leaders are dismissing the rhetoric as "aimed at domestic consumption."
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Kerry and other top administration officials have been defending the deal on Capitol Hill in recent days, claiming that it will rein in the Islamic Republic’s contested nuclear program and fix its nuclear "breakout" period, the time required for it to obtain the amount of highly enriched uranium necessary for a nuclear weapon, at one year.
Critics have noted that the deal provides Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief that could be spent on terrorism and lifts bans on Iran’s export of weapons and construction of ballistic missiles.
When addressing claims this week by the administration that the deal shuts down Tehran’s nuclear infrastructure, Iranian officials scoffed and said that the Obama administration is misleading the public in order to sell the deal.
Hamid Baeidinejad, an official in the Iranian foreign ministry and one of the country’s nuclear negotiators, scoffed on Wednesday at the Obama administration’s comments, saying that they were meant to placate an American domestic audience.
"The remarks by the western officials are ambiguous comments which are merely uttered for domestic use and therefore we should say that there is no ambiguity in this (nuclear) agreement," the Fars news agency quoted Baeidinejad saying in an interview with state-controlled radio.
Baeidinejad said that the Obama administration is misleading Americans about the deal in order to "calm opponents in the Congress and Zionist lobbies to soothe the internal conditions prevailing over debates on the nuclear agreement in that country," Fars, which is also run by the Iranian state, reported.
As Congress spends 60 days reviewing the deal, which it may reject, the Iranian parliament is undertaking the same task.
During a meeting on Wednesday with Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran urged world powers to keep its commitments under the deal.
These includes lifting sanctions on the nearly $100 billion dollar financial empire of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and agreeing to bar American inspectors from all Iranian nuclear sites.
"The Iranian government is standing strong on the path of (implementing) the agreement and we will remain committed to our undertakings as long as the other side remains loyal to its obligations," Rouhani was quoted as saying during a meeting in Tehran with Fabius, who served as a key negotiator for the French.
Rouhani said the agreement could help Iran become a key player on the international stage.
"This agreement is not against any country and our cooperation and consultations to settle the regional problems, including fight against terrorism, humanitarian aids, and materialization of nations' demands can prove it," Rouhani was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Fabius was met at the airport by Iranian protestors who accused him of serving as an Israeli spy.
"The protesters chanted slogans such as ‘Aids, A French Gift to Iran’, ‘We Neither Forgive nor Forget’, ‘Fabius, Servant of the US, Spy of Israel’ and ‘No Welcome to Aids Lord,’" according to Fars.