The Iranian government is pressing the U.S. and others to give even more ground to Tehran in the already-sealed nuclear agreement, posing a new headache as the Obama administration and others try to implement the deal.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier this month demanded that sanctions be lifted entirely, not just suspended. A top Khamenei adviser reiterated that demand over the weekend — ahead of potential informal talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Secretary of State John Kerry plans meet in the coming days in New York with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. According to Iran’s Fars News Agency, Iranian officials also plan to meet with all members of the P5+1 group, which negotiated the deal, in New York on Sept. 28.
These reported plans prompted one group, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), to question whether talks were being “reopened,” in order to address Khamenei’s concerns.
Asked about the speculation, a State Department official said there is no further negotiation and the U.S. expects the deal to be implemented “in good faith.”
“We’ve long said that we’re not going to comment on or react to every statement attributed to the Iranian leadership,” the official told FoxNews.com. “Our focus is on implementing the deal, and verifying that Iran completes its key nuclear steps under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. There is no renegotiation, and the nuclear-related sanctions relief that Iran will receive once the IAEA verifies that it has completed its nuclear steps is clearly spelled out in the text of the [agreement].”
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