Security asks reporters to leave as Kerry is meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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That's the position U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has found itself in with Iran as it pushes for an historic accord that would end a 12-year nuclear standoff.The two foes cut diplomatic ties after Iranian revolutionaries seized 52 hostages in Tehran's U.S. Embassy during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.Ali Vaez, an Iran expert at the International Crisis Group, said that the Iranian government has also been criticized by hard-line conservatives in Iran for defending the "Great Satan".If Iran were shown to have cheated on the JPOA, it would make it more difficult for Obama to sell a long-term accord to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on Iranian nuclear work to skeptical lawmakers in the Republican-led Congress.A senior U.S. official dismissed Albright's criticism, saying Iran had done what it was required to do.It was not the first time Washington has defended Iran.After the IAEA reported that Iran had begun feeding uranium into a single advanced centrifuge last year, which would be a violation of the 2013 deal, U.S. negotiators said it was apparently a mistake on Iran's part and that it had quickly stopped.
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