Breaking point of deal?
Iran: Nuclear Deal Will Remove All Sanctions

Contradiction that may threaten final deal continues to balloon as Iranian leaders deny Western claims of gradual sanction rollback.

Dalit Halevy, Ari Yashar,

Ali Akbar Salehi
Ali Akbar Salehi

A key contradiction has been growing between Iranian and US claims regarding the nuclear framework deal achieved earlier this month, with senior Iranian officials hardening their demands that all sanctions be dropped as soon as a final deal is reached ahead of a June 30 deadline.

In an interview with Al-AllamAtomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) chief Ali Akbar Salehi stated that the UN Security Council will immediately remove its sanctions as part of the final deal.

Based on his words, it is clear that the Iranian position negates the Western assertions that sanctions will be removed gradually over a set of phases to ensure that Iran holds up its end of the bargain.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that in the nuclear talks two particularly meaningful steps have been reached.

The first he listed as the Geneva interim agreement sealed in November 2013 that partially eased the sanctions, and the second was the Lausanne framework of this month, in which both sides agreed to take on obligations.

But according to Rouhani, the framework deal doesn't only touch on Iran's "right" to operate its nuclear program - it also covers its rights in the fields of economics, banking, commerce, foreign investment, technological imports, job market development and more, indicating how he understands the deal to include a full removal of the sanctions.

The issue of how and when sanctions are to be removed is one of many contradictions between the US and Iranian versions of the deal.

Another point of contention is that the US has said Iran will stop using advanced centrifuges and limit itself to researching them, while top Iranian officials last week said they will start using advanced IR-8 centrifuges that are 20-times as effective as standard ones as soon as a deal is reached, meaning they would be able to produce a nuclear arsenal in a rapid timeframe.

For his part, US President Barack Obama admitted in an interview last week that as a result of the deal, Iran will be able to reach a "zero" breakout time by 2028, meaning it could produce nuclear weapons immediately whenever it wanted to.