A diplomatic skirmish has broken out between Iran and the US over the implementation of the interim nuclear deal.
On Thursday, the White House released a four-page summary of the “technical understandings” for the start of the agreement, scheduled for Monday.
The text said that Iran will suspend all enrichment of 20% uranium, diluting its stock to 5% or converting it to fuel plates within six months. The Iranians cannot add any nuclear centrifuges, or go beyond research and development of new models. Tehran will also provide design information on the Arak heavy-water reactor, due to go on-line in late 2014.
In return, the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, China, Germany, France, and Russia) will lift sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical and automobile sectors and allow the transfer of gold and precious metals. The US has also said it will unfreeze $4.2 billion in Iranian assets over six months.
However, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the White House summary was a “unilateral interpretation” of “unofficial agreements”.
Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, “This statement is in no way the criterion for assessment or judgement regarding the implementation of the Geneva agreement.”
Afkham did not specify which provisions in the White House text were incorrect.
Iranian Diplomat Shot and Killed in Yemen
The economic attache at the Iranian Embassy has been shot and killed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the news of the death of Ali Asghar Asadi, first broken by Yemeni security officials.
Asadi was shot as he was leaving the Iranian Ambassador’s residence in the south of the city by car. He was taken to hospital, where he died.
A Yemeni security official said an initial investigation suggested gunmen first attempted to kidnap the diplomat by stopping his car. When Asadi resisted, the assailants shot him and fled into the busy commercial district.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to journalists.
Another Iranian diplomat has been missing since July in Yemen. Tehran has denied reports of his death.
Justice Minister: “Not in Best Interests” to Put Detained Opposition Leaders Mousavi & Karroubi on Trial
Justice Minister Mostafa PourMohammadi has said it was not in the best interests of the regime to put opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi on trial after the disputed Presidential election in 2009.
Mousavi was allegedly denied a run-off with President Ahmadinejad because authorities manipulated the vote. Hea and Karroubi, who also stood in the election, have been under house arrest — along with Mousavi’s wife, activist Zahra Rahnavard — since February 2011.
Pourmohammadi said, “It was not in the country’s best interest to enforce these individuals’ punishment, because it could have led to imprisonment or murders, as well as fresh demonstrations and struggles.”
As for the current house arrests, Pourmohammadi said, “Right now the regime has decided that it is best for these individuals to remain under restriction.”
Cancellation of Historic 1st Speech by Woman at Tehran Friday Prayers
Friday’s address by Massoumeh Ebtekar, said to be the first woman ever to address Tehran Friday Prayers, was suddenly cancelled.
Another Department official reportedly took Ebtekar’s place.
Ebtekar said the cancellation of her speech was not “a big deal and will pass”. She also asserted that conservative politician Maryam Behrouzi and former Health Minister Marzieh Dastjerdi had given speeches at Friday Prayers.