Background Briefing in Vienna, Austria

Special Briefing
Office of the Spokesperson
Senior State Department Official
Vienna, Austria
July 6, 2015


SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So hi, everyone.

QUESTION: Hi, [Senior State Department Official].

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thank you for your patience today on the shifting times. [Name withheld] wanted to come talk to you all but [name withheld] has been just literally back to back meetings, but [Senior Administration Official] is a very good substitute.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I’ve been walking by the river taking it easy.

QUESTION: Drinking?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: And – is that you, or was that a question, David?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let’s just keep going.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So thank you for your patience. I really appreciate it. We wanted to get everyone together. I know there’s not a lot going on today but I think [Senior Administration Official] wanted to give you sort of a quick update for what’s happening here and then, obviously, be happy to take any of your questions afterwards as well.

So I think [Senior Administration Official] is going to give a few opening remarks. It’ll be Senior Administration Official. Let’s embargo it till the end, just for purposes of tweeting, so we can all pay attention. And I think with that I will turn it over to [Senior Administration Official] to make some remarks and then we’ll go to questions.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thank you. Thanks, everybody, for coming. So the Secretary, at the beginning of meetings when there’s a spray, is often wont to say, “People are working hard, we’re working hard,” he says that when he walks by. We truly have entered the working hard phase of this process. With most of the ministers out of town, the expert groups are taking advantage of the time to grind through as many of the details as they possibly can – the nuclear experts in the nuclear channel, the sanctions experts in the sanctions channel. And I can tell you one of the teams met with their Iranian counterparts I think for like six hours last night finishing a round.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, I got an email from [Name withheld] close to 3:00 a.m. when they had just finished up.

QUESTION: Which team was that, nuclear or sanctions?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That was the sanctions --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Sanctions.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- group. So people are really feeling the sense of urgency that always comes with the approach of a deadline.

QUESTION: (Laughter.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Is that laughter in the transcript, Matt, attributed to you?

QUESTION: Which deadline?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You can save your laughter for your questions.

QUESTION: Is that March – the March (inaudible)?

QUESTION: I think that was a derisive snicker.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So the P5+1 is staying coordinated through the political directors, who obviously remain in town, and through the fact that Helga and Stefan (ph), the leaders of that delegation, are joining almost relevant meeting. And the ministers are getting reports from the teams regularly throughout the day, providing guidance, checking in with each other when necessary. As the Secretary noted, he had two interactions with Foreign Minister Zarif today, one that was sort of started by chance and they sort of pulled each other aside for what was just a few minutes, and then the other in the meeting that took place towards the end of the day, I think around 6:00 or 6:30.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Mm-hmm, 6:00.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And we expect the other P5+1 ministers to come back into town over the weekend, probably Sunday, although you should ask the various delegations about their ministers’ plans. And then we’re really in the endgame of all this, as everybody knows.

We’re certainly making progress; there’s no doubt about that. I think the Iranians have said that. I think almost every minister who’s come through to check in on the process has said that. The Secretary has also said that. But it’s also clear that there are still big issues that are not resolved, which is why people are burning the midnight oil. Eventually, this is going to have to come down to some significant political decisions that can only be made at the level of ministers, and even then, only by checking back with capitals. All the work that’s going on now is designed to close out as many issues as possible so that those don’t have to come to the ministers and then tee up the others for decision by the ministers when the time is right.

For our part, our sort of approach to this hasn’t changed. If things hew closely to Lausanne and we meet our bottom lines, which you’re all pretty familiar with at this point, then we can get a deal. And if the right choices don’t get a made and a good deal is not available, then we won’t and we’re more than comfortable stepping away at that point if need be.

In terms of other things that happened today, I think you’re aware the Secretary saw Director General Amano this morning. The IAEA has put out a statement about his trip to Iran; there have been other characterizations.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: They had a brief private meeting this morning to talk about his trip.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And beyond that, I think ready to take questions.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: And the other thing I would point out is Dr. Salehi and Secretary Moniz have sort of been meeting continuously throughout the day. I think Eva (ph) is in the back, but what, they’re in their third meeting now?

STAFF: Yeah, third meeting; I think a total of a minimum of I think six hours.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Right, so they’ve been meeting together on the nuclear side pretty continuously throughout the day, in addition to the experts.

QUESTION: When you say the nuclear side, can you be more specific? What issue --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The issues that Dr. Moniz deals with – nuclear, not sanctions. And I think we’ll probably leave it at that. They’re not dealing with the sanctions pieces of it.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So that also has been going on throughout the day and expect probably will continue tomorrow.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, absolutely. So --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Laura.

QUESTION: So you were saying all this Secretary and political director attention seems to be focused on the sanctions issue, not the nuclear issue.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I didn’t. I said --

QUESTION: Or I mean, it feels like that’s what all the hours of meetings were --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That was just the one last night.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I was giving you an example of what I meant by the fact that people are really – but the nuclear people have spent many, many, many hours in --

QUESTION: I’m not saying they’re not working, I’m just saying it seems like the sanctions-related issues are the ones that are hardest to close at this point.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I don’t – I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, honestly. There are very, very hard nuclear issues as well.

QUESTION: Okay, (inaudible). I think – I’m trying to articulate my question. Is that – what I understand from Iranian colleagues as well, that the timing of the sanctions relief – not the immediate, but they want the steps to be at the same time, and that that was something that they were very focused on.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s safe to say that the Iranians have been very public about the fact that they want as much clarity as possible about how that process is going to work, and so to a very large extent the sanctions meetings have been focused on finding language that clarifies how things would proceed in the event of a deal.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: But I would say we also want as much clarity as we can have on the nuclear side too, so it was just sort of an example of how hard people are working.

Yes, Laurence.

QUESTION: Can you give us any debrief on Amano’s trip to Tehran? You said he saw the Secretary this morning. Amano’s statement was pretty brief, it didn’t go into very many specifics. Can we – are we kind of on a breakthrough on PMD issues? Is there anything you can fill us in on there?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I mean, because it was a private meeting I’m not going to characterize it beyond what the IAEA has put out. I think based on what we heard, that was very accurate that it was a good step, but there is still work to be done to get to where we need to be on PMD and I don’t think that’s a surprise to anybody.

Yeah.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Margaret, go ahead.

QUESTION: Thanks for doing this. Has there been any discussion and is it the U.S. position that we would – that the U.S. would like Americans among any inspectors who would go into Iran to help verify and then --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sorry, I missed the beginning part of your question.

QUESTION: The nationalities of the inspectors.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Has that been a --

QUESTION: Has that been discussed, and does the U.S. have a position? Because Iran in the past has opposed Westerners being part of an inspections team given that there is some concern regarding states that actually are nuclear-weapons states and have familiarity with what that would look like.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure. I mean, this would be in the category of things that given the sensitivity of this particular issue, I’m not going to get into any of the details of the PMD discussion.

QUESTION: Well, does the U.S. have a position on that? Is that something you’re seeking?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Not a public one, no.

QUESTION: So are you confirming that that’s been an issue?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I’m just saying I’m not going to characterize the discussion of U.S. monitors in – if --

QUESTION: Can you say if it’s been raised at all?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t want to get into the details of the PMD discussion. I think that’s – that’s generally been our approach. Look --

QUESTION: Well, I wasn’t necessarily just addressing the ongoing outstanding issues of PMDs. I just mean over the course of this deal in its entirety, does the United States want inspectors who are American in Iran at any point?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I mean, again, I’m not going to make a public call for Americans to serve as inspectors or to take that off the table either way at this point. I mean, this is – again, goes to the substance of discussions that I’m not going to characterize.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Carol.

QUESTION: The Iranians are saying that if there’s a deal, 100 percent of it will be made public. In the past you guys have suggested that at least some of it may be classified.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, I think another senior Administration official got asked this in the backgrounder right before we came here and [Senior Administration Official] said the main text and the annexes would be public, and that it’s really premature to talk about whether anything else wouldn’t be. And I’d point you to [Senior Administration Official] comments on the Thursday before we left, and that’s – what [Senior Administration Official] said, this senior Administration official, that is, is still where we would stand.

QUESTION: Would they be released at the moment that you say, “Now we have a deal,” or would we be talking about a week later or after Congress? I mean, like, should we – just in terms of expectation and planning, should we be expecting that there will be a fact sheet or that the actual deal will be released to us?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: As this senior Administration official said in a backgrounder on the Thursday before we left, the main text of the deal and the annexes will be public.

QUESTION: Yeah, but you don’t know when?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I don’t have rollout specifics yet, but I would assume that – right?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah.

QUESTION: So there would be one fact sheet? That’s another thing the Iranians have said.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Look, we have not at this point made all of the decisions about all of the various aspects of the rollout. We’re pretty focused at this point on getting this high-class problem --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- onto our table. So I mean, I think the honest answer is this is all still – some of this is still to be determined.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Correct.

QUESTION: You keep talking about “the rollout” as if it’s a done deal.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think I just said that it was a high-class problem that --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: If you had listened to the beginning. I think I said this is a high-class problem we’d very much like to have on our table and don’t right now, which is why we haven’t been thinking too hard about the rollout.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: But the main text and the annexes, the same place we were in on that first day.

Let’s go to James and then Jay with no mustache anymore.

QUESTION: Two questions and thanks for doing this.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: For the transcript.

QUESTION: First, in the four-minute YouTube video that he posted, Foreign Minister Zarif credited the current Administration in the United States with having opted for the negotiating table because “they realized that the most indiscriminate and unjust economic sanctions against my country have achieved absolutely none of their declared objectives.” (A) Would you characterize the sanctions as indiscriminate and unjust? And (b) is that why the Administration opted for the negotiating table? And then I have a second question.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So do you want me to answer the first one first, or do you want to ask your second one?

QUESTION: No, I’d prefer if you answered the first one.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay. So I would say (a) no; (b) one of – (laughter) – your answer to question A was do I consider the sanctions to be indiscriminate and unjust? No. (B) Look, one of the stated objections clearly of the sanctions was --

QUESTION: Objectives.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Objectives.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- to help – right, sorry – was to help bring about the very negotiating process that we’re in right now and are very close now to the endgame. So I think the answer to that question is that the sanctions have played a critical role in getting us to where we are today.

QUESTION: The second question I wanted to raise had to do with the allegation from not just well-known critics of the talks, but from more neutral or respected scientific figures like David Albright to the effect that the Iranians violated the terms of the JPOA with respect to their LEU stockpile and conversion of it. And just to get on the record, albeit in a background setting, the response from the Administration to those allegations from a fairly credible source?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right. So on the stockpile, I think the – I thought we’d already addressed this. But anyway, the --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: We did.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There were two requirements that Iran was supposed to meet. One was getting the overall stockpile under I think it’s 70 --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: 7,650.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- 7,650 kilograms, which the IAEA clearly announced that it did; and the other was converting the remaining portion of the stockpile into an oxide form, which Iran also did. So our position is that they quite clearly met the requirements that they --

QUESTION: The allegation is that there was --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: His argument is that because it’s still in the plant where it’s converted, that it hasn’t finished the process yet because it hasn’t spit out the other side. But when it’s fed into the plant it is then converted into a form of oxide – a different form, albeit, than what it spits out into, but a form of oxide which meets the requirement to convert it to oxide. So everything that’s been fed into the plant has been converted to oxide per the requirement of the JPOA.

QUESTION: Not to plunge us into too technical a patch of weeds, but I believe the contention from Albright and others is that it was supposed to be converted into dioxide.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That is not true. If you look at the --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: -- Joint Plan of Action, it says a form of oxide.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It’s pretty clear and we can show you the text after if you want.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Can we stay on this just for one brief second?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure.

QUESTION: I’ve got two questions about it. What are the chemical forms of this oxide, and is fluorine in them?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t know the answer. We’d have to get back to you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I’ll email, but I don’t believe so but let me just double-check.

QUESTION: Thanks.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay. Barbara.

QUESTION: Just can you give us your own oral response to the fact that Mr. Zarif put out such a video? I mean, do you think – whatever you think of the content, is he kind of getting ahead of the PR game because Mr. Kerry hasn’t taken any such steps or anything close to that?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. I mean, I think, look, we’ve said all along that we’re not going to – that we’re going to get quieter as this gets closer to the end basically. I think the Secretary has given that guidance to our team. I think to some extent people have to stand up and brief at the White House and the State Department and have to answer questions; other people appear on TV and they’ll have to answer questions. We’ll do backgrounders like this for reporters. But we’re certainly not going out of our way to try to frame or characterize publicly the talks because we’re very focused on what’s going on inside the room.

As for the video, I haven’t watched it. I did read the transcript but I think I would, I guess, direct questions about what the purpose was or what the objective was to the Iranians. I don’t think it’s our role to try to interpret that for you, but I – we did read it.

QUESTION: Well, do you agree with his contention that they – that the negotiations are trying to force Iran to succumb to military and economic coercion?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That the negotiations are trying to force Iran to succumb?

QUESTION: An attempt to force --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. I mean, I – look, I think what the negotiations are trying to do is come up with an agreement that demonstrates conclusively that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, and that is the primary objective from our perspective, and I’ll leave the other characterizations to Foreign Minister Zarif.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Go ahead, Jo, and then Arshad, and then Brad.

QUESTION: Just (inaudible) again, so I wonder if I could ask you – I appreciate you said you hadn’t seen it, but he does also say that if there’s a good deal it could open --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I said I read it, so it’s okay.

QUESTION: You have read it?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah.

QUESTION: Okay. So then – sorry, it could “open new horizons to address important common challenges. Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism.” What would you – what would be the U.S. Administration’s response to that? Would you welcome such moves given that Iran remains your top state sponsor of terrorism?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So I mean, I think what we’ve said about this is still the case, which is that the talks are about the nuclear issue. We have a range of issues with Iran that we address in a range of ways, including by supporting our partners and allies in the region that consider Iran an adversary. But in terms of these talks and these negotiations, they’re focused not just primarily but exclusively on one core problem, which is the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.

When it comes to ISIL, it’s true that ISIL is an avowed enemy of Iran. It’s true that ISIL is certainly an enemy of the United States. But I wouldn’t go any further than that in terms of projecting what that means in terms of our ability to sort of collaborate down the road. That’s not what this is about. This is about addressing Iran’s nuclear program and exclusively that.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So I promised Jay actually, like, four questions ago and I’m sorry I forgot. So Jay and then we’ll go to Arshad.

QUESTION: Apparently the president of Iran, his chief of staff has now joined the Iranian delegation. I don’t know if he’s actually taking part in the talks, but is that a sign of things kind of heating up? And just back to this video, are you surprised (inaudible) so publicly sort of tying the ISIS conflict to these talks? Because they have been very much, like you in the past, saying this is solely about the nuclear issue, we don’t want to talk about ISIS, but now the YouTube video is apparently almost tying the two.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It’s hard to say that anything is surprising at this point having been – going through this for three years now. There’s been a range of public acts by parties on all sides and parties outside of the talks, I think, that have drawn a lot of attention. But again, we are trying, at least while we’re here, to be as ruthlessly focused on what’s going on inside the room as we can, and that’s really the truth. I mean, this was – this is not going to have an impact on that, and so it’s really not something I or others, I think, in our party have focused on very much.

In terms of the composition of Iran’s delegation, it’s evolved periodically at different points during the talks, as has ours actually. But again, I would direct questions about who’s here and who’s not here and what this means and doesn’t mean to them, not to us. They seem very willing to chat with you guys from time to time, so --

QUESTION: He’s there, right?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: What’s that?

QUESTION: He’s there, Mr. Nahavandian?

QUESTION: He’s there and he’s supposed to go back after.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah. I mean, but I thought you asked me what the significance of it was.

QUESTION: No, I just --

QUESTION: Is he at the table?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, look, I have not seen him. I don’t think any of us on our delegation have seen him. I’ve seen reports that he’s there.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: He wasn’t in the 6:00 p.m.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: He was not in the meeting that we had.

QUESTION: So he has not been talking with the American delegation in other words?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Not that I know of.

QUESTION: Not that you know of.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No.

QUESTION: Because he’s an economist, so there was – I was wondering whether he was part of – he’s the one who’s been doing a lot of business outreach. I was wondering whether he was part of the sanctions discussion, trying to engage with your sanctions experts or with Secretary Kerry on that issue?

QUESTION: I can’t hear you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: She asked if the fact that Mr. Nahavandian, the president’s chief of staff, being an economist suggested that he was here to talk with our sanctions people, and I said, as far as I know, he has not had any interactions with them.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I don’t – he wasn’t in the meeting last night I don’t think.

Arshad, finally.

QUESTION: Can you tell us to what extent the Secretary has been in direct contact with the President, if at all, since he’s been here?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That’s a good question. Let me get back to you on that.

QUESTION: Specifically on the Iran talks.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, obviously. Yes.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Can you get back to us all on it or just --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah, no, we’ll --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We can get an answer that goes to --

QUESTION: And Congress too?

QUESTION: (Inaudible) call on the golf course today.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: (Laughter.) No comment on that.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Congress?

QUESTION: Congress as well?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: He spoke --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: He has. He has spoken to members of Congress while he’s been here. He spoke with Representative Graham.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Senator Graham.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sorry, Senator Graham, Lindsey Graham. I’m trying to think if he spoke with others.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Leahy, but he --

QUESTION: Presidential hopefuls?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: He didn’t; I don’t think he did yet. Oh, yeah, he did. He spoke with Senator Leahy before the Cuba rollout. And they in both those calls touched on Iran. I’m trying to think if there are any others. I think that might be it.

QUESTION: What was the reason for the call with Senator Graham?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Oh, Brad, you’re next.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Range of topics, I would say, from foreign affairs issues to the budget to the Iran talks.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Brad.

QUESTION: So can I try a 30,000-foot question?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure.

QUESTION: Given the Administration has said the alternative to a deal could be war, and given you just said today you’d be comfortable walking away if the right deal isn’t here, what is the thinking at this point about what should happen if a deal cannot be reached over the next four days?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: What should happen?

QUESTION: What would the process be? Is – are the negotiation is over? Would there be a break? Would there be war? Would there be what?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I mean, I --

QUESTION: Just a quick break.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- think there are a range of possibilities, and I think to some extent it depends on where things actually stand as we approach this – the next few days. If things are I think exceedingly close, I think that puts us in one category of possible options. If things really just break down and it’s clear there’s no way of getting there that anybody can see, I think that puts us in another place. But the truth is I don’t think it’s in anybody’s interests to be speculating about what happens if this all falls apart at this point. Our overriding focus, really our 100 percent focus at this point is on trying to get there, and we will leave the projections about what happens afterwards to another time.

QUESTION: Those two scenarios you just laid out, are those within the realm of things that could potentially happen, beyond getting a deal, that things (inaudible) --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, look, at --

QUESTION: -- exceedingly close but they – or things would end and it just breaks down?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: At this point anything is possible, but you saw the – I think various ministers have said that we are making progress. I think in Foreign Minister Zarif’s video today he says we’re closer than we’ve ever been or something. I think that’s one of the first lines. I mean, to some extent that’s sort of definitionally true. The closer you get to deadlines – (laughter) --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Hopefully, right?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right, hopefully. But I think that reflects the reality that there – that this is now being sort of spelled out in detail in a way that it hasn’t up until this point. So like, the hope – the Secretary has said, “I don’t talk about being optimistic or not optimistic; I’m hopeful.” That’s how he sort of views a lot of things. And I think the hope is that we get there, but the reality is that we could not.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Let’s go Paul and then we’ll go around the room.

QUESTION: Is it the Administration’s position that there should be an endpoint to the PMD questions, or should the IAEA be free to continue indefinitely to look into those issues?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think the endpoint – I mean, I think the IAEA – the endpoint would be the IAEA’s report that it has – that its concerns have been satisfied when it comes to possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

QUESTION: But if they’re not satisfied then they should feel free to continue asking questions?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I mean, I don’t think we are putting a fixed time period on the IAEA’s inquiry, if that’s what you’re asking.

QUESTION: Can I follow up?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Andrea, mm-hmm, and then Indira.

QUESTION: Just a follow-up on that. Do they have to be fully satisfied before a comprehensive deal can be put into effect?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I would say it’s hard to imagine, for example, all the sanctions that would need to be lifted being lifted unless there is a degree of satisfaction on the part of the IAEA and in the report that it submits.

QUESTION: And to go back to the video for a moment, there’s been an understanding, I believe a personal understanding between Kerry and Zarif that neither of them would do interviews until this is all over.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I’m not aware of a --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I don’t think that’s true, yeah.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I’m not aware of any gentleman’s agreement or anything like that.

QUESTION: Is there an agreement not to do television or anything else?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I mean, I --

QUESTION: (Inaudible) told you. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: But no, the point is there’s not been an understanding among the ministers that they would not be making public statements --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I --

QUESTION: -- substantive statements beyond coming --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think they’ve discussed the fact that --

QUESTION: I mean, there’s been an understanding that there’s a blackout in all of these rounds.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I certainly see a lot of quotes and --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: From some of our partners.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- appearances from people for a situation that you just described as a blackout. Look, I think the Secretary’s view, and I think they’ve discussed this together, is that to the greatest extent possible, negotiating in public is not helpful. And we’ve tried to stick to that. But there is no deal about what they can and can’t do. We don’t direct their team and they don’t direct ours.

QUESTION: And can you clarify when the call to Lindsey Graham took place?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think it was --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It was a couple days ago. I’ll find out.

QUESTION: And who called whom?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The Secretary.

QUESTION: And did --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: He does these fairly frequently and --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I expect he’s going to call more members during the course of our time here.

QUESTION: Has he talked to Corker?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Not --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Not since he’s been here.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, he talks frequently to Senator Corker. He hasn’t talked to him I don’t think this week. I expect he probably will at some point before we’re out of Vienna.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay, Indira. Let’s keep these sort of short because I think --

QUESTION: So I know you were saying that basically, ultimately nothing is really resolved yet, right? The PMD issue is not resolved. The access is not resolved.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I mean, look, “nothing is really resolved” would be taking a bit far. What I would – I mean, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, so by that definition, yes, all of it remains open until there is a final text. But there have been a number of things that have been – a number of issues that have been resolved during the course of the week. So the idea that --

QUESTION: Can you tell us what any of those are?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No.

QUESTION: Okay. (Laughter.) And on sanctions, my understanding is that Iran is trying to accelerate the pace of sanctions relief. Would it be conceivable that they could get any of the things that the President can do executively, I mean, from EOs to the escrow accounts, before the entire package becomes implemented as we talked about?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I mean, I think our position has been that Iran needs to take the steps it needs to take on its nuclear program before it receives sanctions relief.

QUESTION: So how would they accelerate? What’s the idea of accelerating from their point of view? Just --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, I --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The faster they can do the steps.

QUESTION: Just doing it faster, that’s it? Yeah.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That would be one way.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That would be one way.

QUESTION: And that, of course, wouldn’t happen, though, the process wouldn’t start until after Corker – after some decision is made by Congress?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think we’re not – yeah, go ahead. Sorry.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Go ahead.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Uh-uh, go ahead.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Oh, well, I mean, presumably the steps that Iran is required to take, they would be unlikely to take while the congressional review period is going on.

QUESTION: But a UN resolution could happen?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, could.

QUESTION: Before the Corker steps? Or --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, a Security Council resolution could – is not directly related to our domestic legal situation.

QUESTION: Okay.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It could happen before that.

QUESTION: And then I just have a question about R&D. In Lausanne, wasn’t it that 15 years, the long-term limit on R&D? There’s some aspect about – there were some limits that the supreme leader then said, “We’re not going to accept,” he said 10 to 12 years in his statements that he --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You should go back and read Lausanne. I don’t think there’s anything that says anything about 15 years.

QUESTION: Have they --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: But --

QUESTION: Have they accepted any long-term limits on their R&D?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, again, this is – goes exactly to what I think I’ve said several times I’m not going to get into, which is positions that are being negotiated in the room. I’m happy to go through Lausanne with you or something afterwards, if you want, and we’ve said that we intend to live by Lausanne. I think the Iranians have also said – at least some of them – that they intend to live by Lausanne. So the closer this hews to Lausanne, the more likely we are I think to get a deal, and a deal that we can proudly and confidently defend.

QUESTION: [Senior Administration Official], are you sure about that thing on the UN, that within the first 30 days that wouldn’t – that would be allowed under the Corker legislation?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: He said --

QUESTION: I thought there was something about --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: -- “could.”

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I said it could.

QUESTION: I thought something – there was something in the bill that any U.S. vote on a UN resolution being revoked would be considered action (inaudible).

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: If that’s true, I have not seen that.

QUESTION: Hey, [Senior Administration Official], you said twice in different formulations that the closer – the more closely this hews to Lausanne, the higher the chances there are of getting a deal. That, to me, implies that it is conceivable to you that it will not hew completely to Lausanne. Is that true?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I’m glad you asked that. Here’s what I would say about that, is Lausanne was a framework, was a set of parameters, whatever you want to describe it. The difference between that and an agreement is that each of those parameters is essentially a concept that we’ve agreed on. To get from there to an agreement that can be implemented, it’s almost like you double-click on the subheading and then elaborate all the information that needs to come underneath it in order to explain how it works, like, in the real world. And in the process of that elaboration there are a lot of issues that then need to be resolved that are technically consistent with Lausanne, but they could go in a number of different directions depending on which side of the table you’re sitting on. So that’s why this – even though Lausanne was I think much more detailed than many people expected, the documents that are being produced for this process are order of magnitude more detailed than the Lausanne parameters were.

QUESTION: You’re not trying – I thought you were suggesting, and I want to hear whether you are suggesting or not, that you would go back on any --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: No.

QUESTION: -- of those general headings --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. I mean, our position is, like I said, is we will live by Lausanne. The Iranians have said they’ll live by Lausanne. But I guess what I would say is within the category of “living by Lausanne,” there’s still a lot that needs to be figured out in terms of how it all works and what words appear on the page to describe those concepts.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: He was not indicating a change. And on R&D it says, “Iran will limit domestic enrichment capacity and research and development, ensuring a breakout timeline of at least one year for 10 years. Beyond that it will be bound by its longer-term enrichment and enrichment, research and development plan it shared with the P5+1.”

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: With no year told.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: No year.

Yes, go ahead.

QUESTION: Molly Hunter from ABC.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hi.

QUESTION: Just on that, have there been any new issues? So you talk about the framework from Lausanne. Have there been new issues or surprises on either side that have been brought to the table since Lausanne?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, again, I don’t want to bring up what is exactly being talked about in the room, but our position very much is that Lausanne needs to be the guide for everything we do on all these topics. So --

QUESTION: There is a sense from the Iranians at least – at least the ones that I’ve been talking to – that not everything that they wanted to agree on here was included in Lausanne. Can you characterize?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Say that again.

QUESTION: That there’s an understanding I think that --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Oh, yeah. Well, look, if what you’re saying is: Is Lausanne comprehensive and cover everything that we need for a final agreement? No, and I think we were clear about that at the time. I think we said, as we announced Lausanne that there would be --

QUESTION: But as far as the big concepts, are there – were there big concepts that --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think we said when we rolled out Lausanne that there were still things about which we disagreed with the Iranians, and that those will need to be figured out during the subsequent period, and now we’re coming pretty close to the close of that as well. So no, I think that – we were clear about that at the time in Lausanne.

QUESTION: Thanks.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Let’s so some folks who haven’t had questions yet, so Karen and then Matt Viser.

QUESTION: Thank you. Just going back to what you were talking about before about certain issues having been resolved although they’re not final --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We have done some things down here. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: But without, as you don’t want to do, characterizing the specifics of negotiations, can you describe to us a little bit, having these meetings now, hour upon hour upon hour, is it – are you honing in on one or two things? Are there specific aspects that are specifically difficult even though many things have been resolved?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think what I would say is we are trying to narrow the number of issues that have to be dealt with by ministers as far as we possibly can. And our position is that, look, there are literally hundreds of small decisions that have to be made in the context of negotiating an agreement like this. The vast majority of those should be able to be worked out by experts. Some of them quite clearly won’t be worked out by experts. But the fewer that have to go to ministers, the more likely we are to get there in the time that we have remaining, which is why the experts are trying to grind through as many of these as they possibly can. But it absolutely will not be all of them, and that’s why this is going to come down to some very hard, big political decisions.

QUESTION: But there are things that ministers have signed off on already? I mean, there is --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure.

QUESTION: -- (inaudible) of things that are done?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure. Yes, there is – there are, with the caveat that if we don’t get a final agreement, nothing’s done. It’s not like anybody has to live by the agreements they’ve made in the absence of a final deal. But, yes.

QUESTION: And has some of that progress been made just this week?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure, yes.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Absolutely.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Absolutely.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Let’s just do a couple more. Matt Viser.

QUESTION: [Senior Administration Official], what’s the mechanism for coming to a final agreement? Is there a handshake? There’s not a – there’s not signatures, right? So what is the – kind of how is there finality to it in the room?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That’s a good question. I think I’m interested to see myself, and I hope I have the opportunity. No, I don’t think you’ll see some sort of signing ceremony or anything like that. I think it’ll probably look quite similar to what we’ve seen at the end of the JPOA and then again in Lausanne, which is – but --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I really don’t know.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- this is almost like counting your chickens before they’re hatched at this point to go into this in too much detail. So --

QUESTION: And then for the timing of things, the seventh is sort of the next deadline, but to get paperwork to Congress, is there a period at which you absolutely have to have things done?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I mean, look --

QUESTION: Can you email them a PDF? Or like, what is that – (laughter) --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There’s not, like, any --

QUESTION: A video. (Laughter.)

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Other than the congressional deadline, which is the 9th, there’s not – we haven’t figured out exactly what minute we need to complete this to get all the other things done that need to get done. But there are some other things that come along with the legislation in addition to the actual deadline – some reports and things like that – and we are very cognizant of the fact that we want – if we are on the cusp of a deal, we don’t let requirements like those cause us any problems. So we are certainly well aware of what we need to do.

QUESTION: Well, wait, [Senior Administration Official] --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Wait, wait.

QUESTION: If you’re on the cusp?

QUESTION: Just on that issue.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: What’s that, Mike?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Say that, Matt.

QUESTION: Does that mean you don’t think you’re on the cusp of the deal now?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Depends on how you define cusp, I guess.

QUESTION: How do you define cusp?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Not tomorrow.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We’re not there yet, so --

QUESTION: Just on the question you just answered, on the logistics of this.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah.

QUESTION: I know it sounds small, but is there – do you have to deliver a hard copy of something that’s agreed here to the Congress? Or can it be an electronic copy? I mean, what form does this document that’s being transferred to the Congress take?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I actually don’t know the answer to whether it has to be a hard copy or an electronic copy, but --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: We can find out.

QUESTION: Because it’s not signed.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: It’s not signed.

QUESTION: Right. So --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: We’ll find out. There’s a number of reporting requirements that go along with the --

QUESTION: Right, I’m just wondering if it’s something that has to be literally flown back from Vienna.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, we could probably email it to someone.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, presumably if it were --

QUESTION: Email it back?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And they could print it and --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: And they could print it and --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- courier it over.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: -- courier it over. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Type that at the top: “Please print.”

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: What did he say? (Laughter.) Oh, yeah, I mean, I --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We’ll check, but I don’t know the answer to that.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: We’re just going to do a couple more. So we’re going to do Laurence – the three in the back, sorry, three in the back. Laurence, start.

QUESTION: Yeah, I just want to come back. You said in one category that we’re exceedingly close. Is it conceivable, therefore, that if we land in that place --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I’m not sure he --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Did I say that?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I don’t --

QUESTION: Yeah, I think so. You said (inaudible) to Brad’s question --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Everyone else is shaking their head no.

QUESTION: To Brad’s question you said there’s one category where we’re exceedingly --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t --

QUESTION: -- in the next few days, exceedingly close. Whatever. If on July 7th – (laughter) --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think we should always do backgrounders at 9:00 p.m., just FYI.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It matters to me. Anyway, go ahead.

QUESTION: Let me rephrase the question.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah.

QUESTION: If on July 7th we’re exceedingly close --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: If we were exceedingly close.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Oh, yes, you said if we’re exceedingly – well, if we’re exceedingly close.

QUESTION: That sounds better.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) you don’t have a deal, is it conceivable that we go past July the 7th? And can you say anything on access? Because we’ve heard a lot from the Iranians since Zarif came back on access, and they don’t all have the same message. Are we getting closer on access?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So I mean, is it conceivable that we would go past the 7th? Sure, it’s conceivable. I mean, we’d be – I’ll just leave it at that. But it is certainly not – look, we want to get this done as soon as possible for a number of reasons, but the longer it goes on, the closer you get, the greater the sense of urgency, and we’re going to work as hard as we can to get it done as fast as we can.

On access, I didn’t quite understand the question.

QUESTION: We’ve heard – just that we’ve heard a lot from the Iranians, and we heard a senior Iranian official talk about how they were comfortable with (inaudible), but there still needed to be limits. We’ve heard stuff from Tehran. Are we any closer to an agreement on access? Have the Iranians moved since Zarif came back?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Look, the discussion of access in the room I won’t get into. You’ve seen what Lausanne – what we put out of Lausanne on access. That remains our position. And in terms of Director General Amano’s visit, look, we saw that as a positive step and that’s an important component of the access piece, obviously, is where the IAEA comes down. That said, we also have been quite clear and the IAEA has been quite clear that they are not done, that there is still work that needs to be done to get to where they need to be. So that --

QUESTION: Did Amano give a positive message to Secretary Kerry?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Amano gave the same message privately as he gave publicly.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: James.

QUESTION: I hope he gave him more than --

QUESTION: I think he gave you a bit more.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Same tone. James.

QUESTION: Does the Administration regard a 60-day period of review for the Congress as more problematic than a 30-day review period would be? And then I have a second question.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I guess I’d just say we would prefer to have the deal done before the 9th, if that --

QUESTION: Before what?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Before the 9th.

QUESTION: Okay. For that reason?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure, yeah.

QUESTION: And then Under Secretary Sherman in congressional testimony at the outset of the negotiations stated publicly that deception was in the DNA of the Iranians. Is that still the view of the Department, having had 20 months to negotiate with them?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You asked a senior Administration official this about a week and a half ago and they declined to answer that specifically, so I probably don’t think we’ll add to that today.

Let’s go on.

QUESTION: The question was phrased differently in each case, and there’s nothing identifying about this situation.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: It’s not about being identifying. I just don’t think we’re going to address it, unless you want to address it.

QUESTION: So is it the view that DNA --

QUESTION: If it was not the identification issue then that question should be reinserted into that transcript.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The answer was inserted in the transcript. We can have that fight later if you’d like.

Who else?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t even know this --

QUESTION: [Senior Administration Official], you have nothing you want to say on that?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, but I want to know the backstory here now that I heard this exchange. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I’ll trade you.

QUESTION: This is easy.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay, guys, just a few more because really, he has other things to do.

QUESTION: Is there a whiteboard (inaudible)?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: There is.

QUESTION: Okay.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: There are both.

QUESTION: A what?

QUESTION: Whiteboard.

QUESTION: Whiteboard and black.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes, and an espresso machine. Okay, this – Michele just got here. Do you want to ask a question?

QUESTION: I want to ask if you commented on Zarif’s message?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes, at length, so you can look at the transcript.

We have one more question in the back, but Laura Koran’s head is in the way and I can’t see who is behind you. Oh, do you want to --

QUESTION: Sorry. Didn’t mean for my head to be in the way.

QUESTION: Mary Alice.

QUESTION: Oh, yeah. Well, I had --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: No, go ahead.

QUESTION: You talked about you’re trying to not have to go back to ministers if you don’t have to so that you can speed up this process.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You mean getting as many issues done without having to involve ministers.

QUESTION: So that you don’t have to go back that far.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right.

QUESTION: Or even to capitals. Are there some issues right now that are off to the side that are going to have to go back that far to the capitals at this point? And then I have one more question beyond that.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I wouldn’t say anything is off to the side. I mean, these things can still be under active discussion and part of it is not – like, it’s not just binary, right? You don’t either resolve it or you don’t resolve it. You can get closer and closer and closer and realize you can’t get across the line and the decisions have to be made at a higher level. So I wouldn’t say anything has been sort of taken off the table in that way and just sort of saved for the ministers.

And then going back to capitals is a normal part of this process. You can expect that once we are – if we get to the point where there’s a text, I would imagine many of the capitals of countries involved will want to review that text before it’s finalized, and I would imagine ours would be no different.

QUESTION: Are the lawyers here?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes.

QUESTION: You make it sound --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: We have lawyers here.

QUESTION: Completely at this point, at this crossroads, you’re at a crossroads that could hew this way or go this way. Is there – there’s – anything is possible at this point? I mean, you don’t – aren’t making progress down one path and --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, I think I’ve been clear that we are making progress, that we are concluding certain issues and that others are not yet resolved. But if you’re asking about the outcome, I mean, could we get a deal or not get a deal? Absolutely both of those are still very viable options at this point.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay, I have one last thing. The experts emailed me. UF6 goes in to UO2F2.

QUESTION: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

QUESTION: Are these formulas?

QUESTION: What’s this mean?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Matt --

QUESTION: Uranium.

QUESTION: UF6 goes into --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: UO2F2.

QUESTION: UO2F2.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Which is a form of oxide. Then that gets turned into (NH4), which is in parentheses, then out of parentheses 2.U2O7.

QUESTION: Say that again, 2. --

QUESTION: (NH4).

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: 2.U2O7, which is also called ADU for short, which is ammonium --

QUESTION: What does U2 have to do with it?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Guys, you wanted this and now I’m giving it to you.

QUESTION: Ammonium dioxide?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: This is what you get for asking the question.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I’m going to say it again.

QUESTION: Come on, just say it.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I know. Guys, just let me continue please. And so it --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You don’t want the rest of this?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: UF6 – just I’m going to say it once, so please listen. UF6 gets converted to UO2F2. That is a form of oxide. The UO2F2 then gets converted, in parentheses, to (NH4), close parentheses, 2.U2O7, which is commonly called ADU. Then ADU turns into UO2, which is uranium dioxide, which is the exit point of the EUPP.

QUESTION: So does that have fluorine?

QUESTION: Yeah, the “F.”

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The “F.”

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The “F” in the first part is a form of oxyfluoride. Not fluorine, fluoride.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: But that’s compound.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah, it’s a compound, but it’s --

QUESTION: Can you give us the language names of UF6, UO2F2? Do you know them? Do you have them there?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That’s going to require another email. (Laughter.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: All to prove that David Albright’s not wrong? Yes, I can email this to them.

QUESTION: You mean that he is wrong.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That he’s not right. What did I say?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You said wrong.

QUESTION: That he’s not wrong.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That he’s not right. We can email it to you. But the bottom line is it goes through a two-step process in the EUPP. In the first step, it is converted to a form of oxide. If you read the Joint Plan of Action, it says UF6 has to be converted out of that form into a form of oxide. And ironically, the forms that it’s in when it’s in the EUPP are actually a little bit more difficult to reconvert back into UF6 – ironically. So if you’re looking at this from a proliferation risk, we’re --

QUESTION: So it comes out as uranium dioxide?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes.

QUESTION: In short, is Iran in compliance?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes.

QUESTION: Can you say that, just for quoting purposes?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: (Laughter.) Iran remains in compliance.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes. I love all of you. Thank you for coming. Senior Administration official will figure out tomorrow what we can do. We try to do these earlier in the day, but I really appreciate your patience with the schedule given it’s --

QUESTION: Can I ask a quick question about the text of the congressional legislation?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure. We may not know the answer, but --

QUESTION: It says that the complete agreement and annexes and the Secretary’s assessment have to be submitted within five days of completing an agreement, but it also says that that submission has to be by July 10th.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Correct.

QUESTION: So is it your contention that if an agreement is completed by July 10th, you still have five days?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I think the way – I would read those together and that all of our homework is due on the – by the 10th.

QUESTION: It’s all (inaudible)?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That’s the way I read that.

QUESTION: Everything is due by the 10th.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That’s what we’re prepared for. I’d put it that way.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay. Thanks, guys.

QUESTION: Thank you.