- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The White House chastised Iran Tuesday for detaining Americans and for violating U.N. resolutions on ballistic missile testing but said those transgressions have no bearing on the administration’s nuclear deal with Tehran.

“This is altogether separate from the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the rest of the world,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “We have been saying all along that the nuclear agreement Iran reached with the rest of the world will not be predicated on trust. We will be able to verify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement.”

Iran conducted ballistic missile tests last weekend, a move that the White House said very likely violates U.N. Security Council resolutions. Tehran media also indicated on Monday that a Washington Post reporter, Jason Rezaian, has been convicted of unspecified charges after being jailed for more than one year.

Republican lawmakers are pointing to the developments as proof that Iran doesn’t intend to abide by its commitments to scale back its nuclear program in return for the easing of international economic sanctions.

Mr. Earnest said the administration is concerned about Mr. Rezaian’s continued detention but said Iran has not cooperated with the U.S. in his case or those of other Americans held there.

On the missile testing, Mr. Earnest said, “Unfortunately, that’s not new.” He said Iran has been violating the U.N. resolution “almost serially.”

“In contrast to the repeated violations,” he said, “Iran has demonstrated a track record of abiding by the commitments they’ve made in the context of the nuclear talks.”

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