TEHRAN – After reaching agreement with the six world powers on a nuclear deal on Thursday, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is working to reassure his domestic audience that the deal is good for Iran.
Appearing on a state TV talk show on Saturday, Zarif said that should the West not live up to its promises, or if the West withdraws from the pact that is to be finalized in June, Tehran would be able to return to its current level of nuclear development.
His remarks appeared to be aimed at reassuring hardliners in Iran who strongly oppose the deal.
Zarif, who was welcomed back to Tehran by cheering crowds on Friday morning, insisted that Iran had negotiated from a position of strength to secure a good preliminary deal.
“They realized they can’t shut down Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.
He also disputed a “fact sheet” that was released by the United States shortly after the deal had been reached in Lausanne, which emphasized Iranian concessions and referred to sanctions being suspended rather than lifted.
“The Americans put what they wanted in the fact sheet. I even protested this issue with John Kerry himself,” he said in the interview, adding that the United Nations Security Council would be responsible for monitoring any deal.
Zarif said Kerry’s action was aimed at addressing rifts between the Obama administration and Congress over the deal. Republicans are almost universally opposed to Obama’s diplomatic effort, while Democrats are divided.
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