By Julian Hattem - 09-01-16 08:41 AM EDT
The U.S. and other world powers made a secret agreement granting exemptions to Iran in order to allow it to meet deadlines and be relieved of sanctions as part of the nuclear deal, a prominent think tank will claim Thursday.
Loopholes were created to exceed limits set by the deal for the amount of low-enriched uranium kept at Iranian facilities, according to the Institute for Science and International Security report, which was obtained by Reuters ahead of publication Thursday. Low-enriched uranium can be used to produce fuel for a nuclear weapon.
According to one senior unidentified official, the U.S. and five other nations agreed to the exemptions so that Iran could be certified as having complied with the deal and begin to see relief from sanctions in January.
"The exemptions or loopholes are happening in secret, and it appears that they favor Iran," David Albright, the president of the think tank and a former weapons inspector, told Reuters.
The report is likely to further stoke anger from Republicans and other critics of the nuclear deal, who have accused the Obama administration of not being forthcoming about the agreement.
Critics have lambasted the United Nations for not opening up its searches to U.S. monitors and have alleged that the White House kept key documents hidden.
Recently, critics have seized on the administration's acknowledgement that it held off a payment of millions of dollars to Iran, meant to settle a decades-old dispute between Washington and Tehran, in order to secure the freedom of five Americans who had been held prisoner in the country. The move amounted to ransom, critics alleged.