Despite an international treaty to the contrary, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, upon arrival at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport, “underlined that all Iran’s nuclear sites will go on their normal activities” and that “none of Iran’s nuclear programs would stop,” the semi-official Iranian FARS news agency reported on Monday.
“The Iranian top diplomat underlined that no nuclear material would be taken out of Iran and none of Iran’s nuclear centers would shut down, but will continue to work by transparency,” FARS wrote, adding that he also “pointed out that nuclear weapon is an inhuman weapon and contrary to our beliefs and religious viewpoints.”
Zarif’s tone certainly differed from that of the document that Iran agreed to, though it was factually correct, as according to the deal, nuclear enrichment programs are not required to fully stop, but to be reduced to minimal levels of 5% from a 20% currently.
Early on Sunday, the world powers, led by the U.S., agreed to partially lift sanctions on Tehran for six months in exchange for the Islamic Republic allowing deeper inspections into its nuclear facilities and placing limits on uranium enrichment.
According to reports on Monday, secret, back-channel talks between Washington and Tehran have been ongoing for a year.
FARS also reported on Monday that Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht confirmed that the agreement would release $8 billion of Iran’s blocked assets by the U.S. administration. The figure was not included in the text of the agreement shared with media, which had estimated the value at $6 billion out of the $100 billion reportedly frozen.