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June 4, 2015 6:04 pm

Getting Iran to Comply With Previous Agreement ‘Not Topic of Conversation’ for Final Deal, Says Harf

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Secretary of State Spokeswoman Marie Harf says getting Iran to comply with previous agreements not "topic of conversation" for final deal. Photo: C-SPAN Screenshot.

Secretary of State Spokeswoman Marie Harf says getting Iran to comply with previous agreements not “topic of conversation” for final deal. Photo: C-SPAN Screenshot.

Getting Iranian nuclear fuel stockpiles down to levels it agreed upon for its interim nuclear agreement is “not a topic of conversation” for the comprehensive deal with Iran facing a June 30 deadline, said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Wednesday.

Defending the Obama administration’s position in negotiations against recent reports that Iran had failed to follow up on its commitments in the Joint Plan of Action, an interim agreement signed between negotiators from Iran and world powers in November 2013.

Speaking with journalists during the State Department’s daily press briefing on Wednesday, Harf insisted Iran had not flown in the face of the interim agreement by increasing its nuclear fuel stockpiles because that number was allowed to fluctuate, as long as it stayed under 7,650 kilograms by June 30.

But even if Iran failed to comply, the issue would not weigh heavily on the U.S.’s confidence in a new agreement, to be finalized by June 30, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Harf, who began the meeting by telling journalists that Secretary of State John Kerry had begun physical therapy following a cycling accident he suffered in Switzerland over the weekend, said the issue of getting Iran’s nuclear fuel stockpiles down under 7,650 kilograms as per the interim agreement, and under 300 kilograms as per the impending comprehensive agreement had been “conflated.”

But critics of the deal say Iran has failed to show goodwill to previous agreements and therefore cannot be trusted to follow the criteria of the comprehensive agreement.

They warn that an Iran emboldened by lifted economic sanctions would continue to expand its influence in the Middle East, where it already has apparent proxies functioning in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain.

Additionally, many are concerned that it would be very challenging to snap back international economic sanctions should Iran be found to cheat on a final deal.

“What really matters is how to get that down to 300” kilograms of nuclear fuel, said Harf.

Negotiators from Iran, the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany are working to finish a deal with Iran by later this month that would lift sanctions in exchange for supervised restrictions on the country’s nuclear program.

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  • Lauren Goldman

    The Iranians were publicly laughing at the White House for being naïve rubes, as Kerry was returning to Washington. It would seem that the plan is to make some lame deal with Iran and, after it attacks Israel with nuclear weapons, to appear shocked and dismayed that Iran broke the agreement. Obama may as well wear a keffiyeh and get it over with.

  • dante

    she’s a mannequin, a dummy, a puppet. her bosses, whatever they are, act like dummies.

    it could be that, even if she had a brain, for the sake of her puny career, she’d betray the country.

    making excuses for the mullahs, in fact, becoming advocates for the mullahs, is a betrayal of the country. a horrible price will be paid if this betrayal is allowed to proceed to its logical conclusion.

  • I am not surprised, because this is consistent with the way President Obama and his fellow far-Leftists handle Middle-Eastern nations:

    Israel’s enemies are not held to any standards and are constantly given free-passes to get-away-with-murder; while Israel is held to impossible or near-impossible standards that no other nation is expected to comply with, and is constantly criticized and condemned.

    Egyptian Cleric Salam Abd Al-Qawi
    said this 2009 January 8:

    “Our hatred of the Jews is based upon our faith.
    The Koran tells us to hate them, not to love them.”

    SOURCE: Muslim Anti-Semitism Compilation

    Qatari Cleric Muhammad Al-Muraikhi said
    This on 2009 January 9 on Qatar TV:

    “We will treat the Jews as our enemies,
    even if they return Palestine to us,
    because they are infidels.”

    SOURCE: Muslim Anti-Semitism Compilation

    Learn how to defend Israel from unfair media bias
    and refute inaccurate Israel-bashing reporting:

    Joining pro-Israel organizations might help Israel.
    Pro-Israel organizations include:

    May I humbly suggest that because Orthodox Jews are increasing as a percentage of American Jews, they should also increase their participation in pro-Israel organizations, to compensate for the declining numbers of non-Orthodox Jews.

  • Julian Clovelley

    It seems to be the old Austerity argument – that it is legitimate to oppress and punishordinary people in a nation when you have an economic or political dispute with its Government. I think it only makes situations worse

    Isn’t the sanctions question the same argument used by the BDS movement so often attacked by some writers in the pages of Algemeiner?

    In some ways the BDS movement holds the moral high ground here, in that the movement opposes an actual Occupation, Blockade and Settlement policy, long questioned in terms of international law by many on the worlds most important international bodies – and an internal social policy that can be perceived as bordering on Apartheid.

    In the case of Iran we are surely looking at a perceived threat to a nation already possessing large numbers of nuclear weapons

    I do not support either Boycott and Sanctions movement, except in relation to certain specific very advanced technologies – To my mind we need to get beyond the policies of hurting ordinary people and deal directly, through negotiation, with the specific issues.

    The Iranian people are for the most part generous and hospitable people, as one finds throughout humanity. Arguments with governments should never be transcended into economic attacks on innocent civilians

    • Lynne T

      Er no, Julian. In this case, the elites of the Iranian regime make the 1% that the Occupy movement so hates look like kindergarten bullies. It is them who are targeted, not ordinary Iranians who don’t only suffer economically, but in every other facet of life due to the police state powers the elites wield.

      And by the way, through Iran’s two foreign mercenary armies, Hezbollah and Hamas, the Iranian regime has very direct responsibility for the security situation that makes it impossible for Israel to withdraw to the Green Line.