File - In this Sept. 26, 2015 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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The United States and its negotiating partners agreed "in secret" to allow Iran to evade some restrictions in last year's landmark nuclear agreement in order to meet the deadline for it to start getting relief from economic sanctions, according to a think tank report published Thursday.Among the exemptions were two that allowed Iran to exceed the deal's limits on how much low-enriched uranium it could keep in its nuclear facilities, the report said.The exemptions, the report said, were approved by the joint commission the deal created to oversee implementation of the accord. One senior "knowledgeable" official was cited by the report as saying that if the joint commission had not acted to create these exemptions, some of Iran's nuclear facilities would not have been in compliance with the deal by Jan. 16, the deadline for the beginning of the lifting of sanctions. A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the joint commission and its role were "not secret". He did not address the report's assertions of exemptions. The draft report said the joint commission also agreed to allow Iran to keep operating 19 radiation containment chambers larger than the accord set.
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