U.S. says Iran's actions matter more than words
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, made the remarks on Tuesday during his daily press briefing. Carney responded to a question about recent words by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that referred to the Geneva agreement as the surrender of the big powers before the great Iranian nation. Carney said the words were not surprising.
"It's not surprising to us, nor should it be to you, that the Iranians are describing the agreement in a certain way for their domestic audience," Carney said. "They did the same thing following the agreement of the Joint Plan of Action in November, and we certainly expected they would do the same thing this time."
Carney said the agreement is the first time in a decade that Iran agreed to specific actions to halt progress on its nuclear program. He reiterated that words are much less important than actions in this matter.
"It doesn't matter what they say; it matters what they do," Carney said. "And the Joint Plan of Action and the implementation agreement are concrete documents that commit Iran to take specific steps in a verifiable, transparent way. And the coinciding moderate relief comes in tranches, specifically as the adherence to its commitments -- Iran's adherence to its commitments is verified along the way over the course of the six months."
Carney said the U.S. is interested less in words than it is in the agreement Iran made, which includes Iran stopping progress on its nuclear program, rolling back key aspects of the program and engaging in further negotiations to pursue a comprehensive solution.