WATCH: Reporter Grills White House Over IAEA Chief Saying There Are No Credible Assurances on Iran

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White House press secretary Josh Earnest, February 24, 2015.Credit: AP


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Ed Henry: You're saying we've verified that. The head of the IAEA today said, "the agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear activities in Iran and therefore conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is for peaceful activities."

That flies in the face of what you just said.

Josh Earnest: Well, Ed, what we have confirmed is that Iran has lived up to their agreement as part of the joint plan of action. And that is confirmed based on --

Henry: How do you confirm that on your own? Because this is the UN nuclear watchdog saying they haven't been able to verify that. So can you explain how has the U.S. verified that without the U.N.?

Earnest: In the context of the joint plan of action our intentional inspectors have gotten very important access to Iran -- it's essentially unprecedented access -- and we have been able to confirm that they have complied with the joint plan of action.

This is critically important because you'll recall that before the joint plan of action was signed even Prime Minister Netanyahu himself came out and said it would be "an historic mistake." But the fact is, we've succeeded in rolling back Iran's nuclear program in the context of this agreement. We've succeeded in maintaining international pressure on Iran sufficient enough to compel them to come to the negotiating table and actually engage in serious negotiations with the international community to resolve once and for all the international community's concerns with their nuclear program.

That is clearly in the best interest of the United States, that's clearly in the best interest of Israel, and it's why we would encourage people to not criticize these agreements before they are even signed.

Henry: So to be clear, those are U.S. inspectors you're saying that got in? Because the U.N. says they haven't gotten in.

Earnest: What I'm suggesting is the international community has verified that Iran lived up -- the international community has verified that Iran has lived up to commitments that they have made in the context of the plan of action.

Henry: And how do you define the international community when the head of the U.N. watchdog said today we haven't gotten in?

Earnest: Well, I haven't seen those specific comments but we can get back to you.

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