Is Iran Violating the Interim Agreement?

Secretary_Kerry_greets_Iranian_Foreign_Miniser_ZarifIs Iran violating its obligations under the Joint Plan of Action interim agreement?

Secretary of State John Kerry says no. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says no. But Foreign Policy claims that parts of a confidential report cite an unnamed state alleging that Iran violated certain terms, and that “diplomatic sources” said that the unnamed state was the U.S.

Foreign Policy apparently does not have the full report, but if you read the article carefully, and if you are willing to trust the unnamed sources, you will see that the article talks about violations of U.N. agreements, not the Joint Plan of Action with Iran.

Iran has not been given a sanctions relief in connection with the U.N. agreements that Iran is alleged to have violated. Iran has received a temporary, limited, reversible sanctions relief in exchange for concessions it made under the Joint Plan of Action, and has apparently honored that agreement.

The leaders of Iran are not “the good guys.” If they were, we would not care if they acquired nuclear weapons. But the anonymous allegations reported in the Foreign Policy article do not contradict the on-record statements from Kerry and the IAEA about Iran’s compliance with the interim agreement.

The Foreign Policy article does show yet again that the U.S. is challenging Iran on violations of its international obligations, and some of the concerns have been addressed in the extension of the interim agreement.

The interim agreement is not the final agreement and should not be evaluated as if it were. The purpose of the interim agreement, which has been achieved, is to slow and roll back Iran’s nuclear program so that negotiations on a final agreement that addresses the outstanding issues can proceed without Iran using the negotiations to gain time.

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