Iran rejects U.S. accusation it long violated nuclear deal
Iran rejected on Tuesday a White House accusation that Tehran was long violating the terms of its nuclear deal with world powers.
“Seriously?” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a message on social network Twitter, after a statement by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that said, “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”
The move marked Iran’s first major step beyond the terms of the pact since the United States pulled out of it more than a year ago. However, Zarif said the move was not a violation of the accord, arguing that Tehran was exercising its right to respond to the U.S. walkout.
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported that the country’s enriched uranium stockpile has now passed the 300-kg(661 lb) limit allowed under the deal.
The White House charge that Iran probably was in violation of the nuclear deal before and after it was reached in 2015 sharply contrasts with CIA Director Gina Haspel’s testimony in January to the Senate Intelligence Committee saying, “At the moment, technically, they are in compliance.”
Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the White House charge was “illogical”.
It was the United States, he said, that first violated the deal when Trump withdrew from it while Iran still was in compliance and then re-imposed harsh U.S. sanctions that had been suspended by the nuclear agreement.