News Release

Iran Deal Myths: Sanctions


Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (@JZarif) — in a clear rebuff to U.S. government officials’ claims about when sanctions would be lifted on Iran — has tweeted the following since the nuclear agreement was announced on Thursday:

* “The solutions are good for all, as they stand. There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on.”

* “Iran/5+1 Statement: ‘US will cease the application of ALL nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions.’ Is this gradual?”

* “Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How about this?”

Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former Iranian negotiator who is now at Princeton University, said on “Democracy Now!” this morning disputed the often-repeated notion that the sanctions compelled the Iranian side to accept the agreement. In fact, he states, the Iranian side had put forward such a framework in 2003, but it was rejected. He also dismissed much-covered Israeli objections, since Israel has a massive nuclear weapons arsenal, refuses to allow any inspections and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

REESE ERLICH, rerlich at, @reeseerlich
Foreign correspondent Erlich’s books include The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis. He recently wrote the piece “Lifting U.S. sanctions to Iran’s satisfaction won’t be easy” for Global Post. In 2013, he wrote the piece “Iranians say U.S. sanctions hit wrong target.”

GARETH PORTER, porter.gareth50 at, @GarethPorter
Porter is an investigative journalist and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. He recently wrote the piece “Iran demands lifting of sanctions for ‘irreversible’ moves, says insider” for Middle East Eye.

Porter said today: “The final hours of the negotiations on the historic deal reached Thursday were marked by ‘brinksmanship’ by both sides, according to U.S. diplomat, seeking to convince the other side that there would be no deal unless the other side gave way on two remaining key issues: R&D on advanced centrifuges and the modalities of lifting sanctions.

“In the end the negotiators resorted to compromise language that either left the issue to be resolved in later negotiations or achieved a compromise that leans toward the Iranian demand.”