Monday, January 13, 2014

State Dept. Won't Identify "Specific Scenarios of Noncompliance" in Iran Deal

    Yesterday, the Obama administration announced an agreement regarding Iran's nuclear program had been reached.  But a statement about the enforcement of the deal made by a senior administration official during a background briefing on Sunday, however, is likely to further worry critics of the deal.  The official declined to cite a single example of an "individual instance of noncompliance" that would trigger the reversal of the sanctions relief put into effect by the deal:
QUESTION: ... If Iran violates any part of this deal, does the deal come to an end immediately? I know you said that there would be more sanctions. But what specifically does it mean for the deal?...
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: ... I think the bottom line is this agreement is based on the two sides taking steps that fulfill their commitment, and the implementation plan provides for a roadmap for the timing and sequencing of those steps. I couldn’t speculate onto specific scenarios of noncompliance. What I would say, though, is that if Iran does not comply with the agreement, then the relief that they’ve accessed as part of the agreement is reversed. And we have said that we would move to impose additional sanctions, including working with Congress to do so.
So the short answer to your question is yes, if we were to assess that Iran had not complied, then they would not be able to access the relief that they’re slated to get through this agreement, and we would move to additional sanctions. Now, the specifics of those scenarios remain hypothetical, so at this point, I wouldn’t want to speculate as to what an individual instance of noncompliance is.
    The official went on to say, "Our hope and expectation is that Iran will comply."

Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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