An editorial in the conservative daily Kayhan described the U.S. as a deceitful power that could renege on its pledges even if Iran sticks with its part of the deal.
"The U.S. was not trustworthy. The Geneva deal lasted only one hour," it said in its front-page headline, referring to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's comments that there was no recognition of Iran's "right" to enrich uranium.
Iran insists that trying to block enrichment was a dead end. For Iran's leaders, self-sufficiency over the full scope of its nuclear efforts — from uranium mines to the centrifuges used in enrichment — is a source of national pride and a pillar of its self-proclaimed status as a technological beacon for the Islamic world.
In the end, Iran agreed to cap its enrichment level at 5 percent, far below the 90 percent threshold needed for a warhead. Iran also pledged to "neutralize" its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium — the highest level acknowledged by Tehran — by either diluting its strength or converting it to fuel for research reactors, which produced isotopes for medical treatments and other civilian uses.
In return, Iran got the rollback in some sanctions — a total package the White House also estimated will re-inject $7 billion into the Iranian economy — but the main pressures remain on Iran's oil exports and its blacklist from international banking networks during the first steps of the pact.
Despite Obama's assurances that no new sanctions will be levied on Iran while the interim agreement is in effect, some U.S. lawmakers want to push ahead with additional penalties. A new sanctions bill has already passed the House of Representatives, and if it passes the Senate, Obama could have to wield his veto power in order to keep his promise to Tehran.
Murphy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington, Lori Hinnant in Paris and Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran contributed to this report.