continued today in Vienna as two of Iran’s deputy foreign ministers met with E.U. deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid. One of the Iranian representatives, Abbas Araqchi,
told an Iranian TV station that he believes all economic sanctions will be lifted immediately following implementation of a nuclear deal.
This contradicts the Obama administration’s
claims earlier this week that sanctions would be lifted only after Iran had met certain nuclear benchmarks and breakout time had been increased to at least a year. The Obama administration is even considering
appointing a point person after a final agreement is reached to oversee the rollout of a deal. Iran’s parliament, which has some influence over Iranian negotiators but
little power to halt a final agreement, mirrored Araqchi’s sentiments by
moving forward with a symbolic bill requiring that any final deal must: (1) lift economic sanctions on the day of the agreement, (2) prevent foreign access to military and security sites, and (3) allow Iran to acquire peaceful nuclear knowledge and technology.
Meanwhile, Secretary Kerry dispelled Senate Republicans’ concerns by backtracking on statements he made earlier in the week and
telling Senator Lindsay Graham that a final agreement would require Iran to detail past weaponization efforts.