State Dept. Twitter war with NYT over Iran

A State Department representative and has rubbished claims on Twitter that Iran has increased its nuclear stockpile.

State Dept. Twitter war with NYT over Iran

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A State Department representative got into Twitter spat with a reporter who claimed Iran has increased its nuclear stockpile above levels agreed to ahead of a June 30 deadline on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program. 

New York Times reporters David Sanger and William Broad wrote Tuesday that Iran have increased its stockpiles by 20 percent during 18 months of talks with world powers, citing data contained in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report released last Friday. 

According to the Times, "Western officials and experts cannot quite figure out why" the stockpiles have increased that much, adding that it would become "a major diplomatic and political challenge" for the U.S. administration in reaching a nuclear deal. 

Sanger tweeted the IAEA report saying, "For those at State Dept. ‘perplexed’ by story on Iran today, it's worth reading this study," referring to State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf's response when initially asked Tuesday. 

Harf responded by suggesting the writers were wrong in their reporting. "You write that this partially undercuts our contention that the Iranian program has been 'frozen' - not true.

"And you insinuate Iran is doing something it's not supposed to do under the JPOA or in violation of its obligations - not true," she tweeted.

At a press conference Wednesday, Harf went into further detail about the stockpiles.

"The fact that this stockpile has gone above 7,650 (kgs) is not an obstacle in the negotiations. It is allowable under the JPOA, as long as they get back where they need to be. They've always gotten back where they need to be, and we expect they will here," she said. 

If Iran fails to return to the expected level, it will then become a problem, she added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Haziran 2015, 07:40