Tags: Iran | iran | nuclear | stockpiles | state dept | harf

Testy State Dept: 'Nothing Wrong' in Iran's Growing Nuclear Stockpile

Image: Testy State Dept: 'Nothing Wrong' in Iran's Growing Nuclear Stockpile
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 11:28 AM

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf got into a "pointed exchange" with reporters who pressed her Wednesday during a daily briefing about reports of significant increases in Iran’s nuclear stockpile, which could constitute a violation of a 2013 interim nuclear deal, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

It was the second day Harf was on the defense with reporters wanting answers to a recent New York Times story stating that international inspectors had reported a 20 percent increase in Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel during the last 18 months of negotiations, "partially undercutting the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been 'frozen' during that period."

According to the Times, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations organization that monitors compliance with nuclear treaties, first reported Tehran’s growing stockpile in a report released Friday.

On Tuesday, Harf characterized the Times report as "inaccurate" and said the administration was "totally perplexed" by it, the Beacon reported.

She said that Iran's stockpile numbers were permitted to fluctuate "as long as at the end of a fixed date they are back down below a number," according to CNN.

On Wednesday, the network reported on a "Twitter war" taking place between Harf and Times reporter David Sanger, who co-authored the piece. After Harf posted that the State Department was "perplexed" that the Times would print "inaccuracies," Sanger fired back, directing followers to a study on the subject.


That prompted Harf to post line-by-line challenges of Sanger’s story:



At the Wednesday briefing, after the contentious Twitter exchange with Sanger, Harf faced an onslaught of questions about Tehran’s nuclear stockpile increase, insisting it would have no impact on current negotiations which have a June 30 deadline, according to the Beacon.

"There’s a couple, I think, notions in the story that we disagree with. One being — I think it was the second paragraph — that Western officials are unaware of why this is happening," Harf told reporters. "That’s just not the case. This type of stockpile under the JPLA and the extensions can go up and down."

"That is perfectly acceptable, as long as at the end of the time period, which in this case is June 30th, it’s back below 7,650 kilograms," she added, maintaining that "there is nothing wrong with Iran increasing its nuclear stockpile."

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State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf got into a "pointed exchange" with reporters Wednesday who pressed her about reports of significant increases in Iran's nuclear stockpile, which could constitute a violation of a 2013 interim nuclear deal, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
iran, nuclear, stockpiles, state dept, harf
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2015-28-04
Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 11:28 AM
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