Washington: The US has not struck a deal with Iran on its controversial nuclear programme, saying it would look to lift sanctions on it only after Tehran has determined to uphold its end of the agreement, a top American official has said.
"If an agreement of some kind were reached with Iran, it would take some to implement. We would want to make sure that Iran was taking the verifiable steps they'd committed to implement the broader framework of the agreement," White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters yesterday.
"What that means is that in the first instance, the US would look to suspend sanctions, and then only if and after Iran has been determined to uphold its end of the agreement would we look to lift or terminate sanctions," he said.
Earnest said that "There's actually a very common sense reason for this, which is that if it became clear that Iran was not living up to its end of the bargain, we would want to have a posture where we could quickly snap sanctions back into place."
Earnest said there isn't an agreement with Iran at this point.
"That's something that's still being negotiated. The clarity with which I can talk about this is limited by the fact that there are still a lot of negotiations that are ongoing with Iran and our P5 plus 1 partners that are relevant to this discussion," he said.
By putting so much economic pressure on the Iranian regime, the US and its international partners are able to compel Iran to the negotiating table, and economic pressure was applied principally by the sanctions that Congress passed, he said.
"The administration signed that bill into law, obviously, and worked very closely with our international partners to implement that sanctions regime.
"That means that means that both the Legislative Branch, in terms of the sanctions that were passed in legislation, and the administrative branch in term or the Executive Branch, in terms of administering those sanctions, has worked very closely together in very fruitful fashion. So the Congress has been involved in this effort and they'll continue to be," he said.