Washington seeking phased out approach to Iran sanctions
White House says Washington 'will insist upon' the gradual lifting of restrictions.

Iran and world powers have yet to agree on how sanctions should be lifted as part of a final nuclear deal, the White House said Monday, but a senior official said any such accord is a "forever agreement.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Washington "will insist upon” the gradual phasing out of sanctions as Iran meets requirements of a comprehensive accord that negotiators have until June 30 to broker.

"It would not be wise and it would not be in the interests of the international community to simply take away sanctions, take away all of the sanctions on day one,” Earnest said, noting that the timeline "still needs to be negotiated.”

Iran has maintained that sanctions should be immediately lifted following verification that it has met its obligations under a prospective deal.

"It is our view that based on Iran's history, that it would be most conducive to the success of the agreement for Iran to continue to have an incentive for complying,” he added.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf added that if Iran rapidly adopts its nuclear-related steps, "we'll get the relief very quickly. It's tied to how fast they can take these nuclear-related steps.”

Addressing reporters at the White House daily briefing, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said any deal is a "forever agreement”

"It's not a fixed-year agreement. It's a forever agreement in a certain sense with different stages,” the Energy Secretary said.

A nuclear physicist by training, Moniz defended an agreement saying that it would block Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb, and establish "unprecedented access and transparency” for inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"This is not built upon trust,” he said. "This is built upon hardnosed requirements in terms of limitations on what they do.”

World powers have been seeking curbs to Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from biting economic sanctions.

Negotiators reached a framework accord April 2 after five days of marathon talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

Last Modified: 2015-04-07 09:27:18
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