(AA) – A U.S. spokesman on Thursday contradicted Iranian leaders who said sanctions against Iran should be lifted immediately after a final deal is inked.
“The agreed-upon parameters, sanctions will be suspended in a phased manner upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments under a finalized joint comprehensive plan of action,” said State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke.
U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have also said Iranian sanctions would be gradually removed.
But after reaching a deal last week with world powers on a framework for Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei challenged U.S. officials’ understanding of the talks by saying there would be no final agreement unless all economic sanctions targeting its economy are immediately lifted after signing the deal.
The differences in understanding were not limited to officials. Fact sheets on the deal released by Washington and Tehran were also different with respect to the sanctions.
When asked about the differences, Rathke said the fact sheets were representations of understandings about what was agreed on in the Swiss city of Lausanne rather than a negotiation paper.
“It wasn’t a negotiated fact sheet. That was released by the United States based on, you know, we told them what we were going to, you know, talk about the agreement publicly, but it wasn’t a negotiated document,” he said.
The fact sheet was circulated minutes after President Barack Obama announced the “historic” agreement.
Rathke conceded that Iranians did not agree to the specifics of the fact sheet. “It isn’t like we had a process of negotiating that specific piece of paper,” he said.
But as for the Iranian understanding of the deal, Rathke said he would not analyze it.
“We’re not going to react to every public statement made by Iranian officials,” he added.
Negotiators have until June 30 to reach a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.