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White House in Sci-Fi mode accuses Iran of violating nuclear deal before its 'existence'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has made the United States a laughingstock after she confusingly said that the Islamic Republic of Iran had been violating the 2015 nuclear deal even before its existence.

The newly-appointed press secretary said in a statement on Monday that, “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms,” referring to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from which American President Donald Trump withdrew the US in May last year.

Grisham, who was charged with driving under influence in 2013 and 2015, has been a top aide to US president and First Lady Melania Trump and also her communications director. She replaced Sarah Sanders on Friday.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif mocked Grisham’s wired statement on Tuesday. He posted a screengrab of the statement on his official Twitter account with that sentence highlighted, asking, “Seriously?”

Professor Steve Saideman, of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Canada and founder of the Canadian Defense and Security Network, also wondered in a tweet whether Grisham had uttered the strange words while being under the influence of “Too many time travel movies?”

Despite its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, Washington has in the past year repeatedly accused Iran of violating its terms, without even being a signatory to it anymore.

Iran has time and again strongly rejected the violation allegations. Furthermore, the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) has in several times confirmed the Islamic Republic’s full compliance with its end of the deal.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions. However, Washington began re-imposing even stricter unilateral sanctions on Tehran since May last year.

On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, announcing that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.

Zarif on Monday announced that Tehran has exceeded the 300-kilogram limit on its low-enriched uranium production in line with paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran says its countermeasures fit within its rights under paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal, and that it will reverse the measures once its demands are met.

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