Iran has not been living up to its obligations under an interim nuclear deal, according to a new report, creating a potential nightmare for the Obama administration as it seeks to lock down a final agreement.

The confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report dated Wednesday said Iran had begun, but not completed, converting more than four tons of enriched uranium into less-dangerous uranium oxide, a process that was supposed to have been completed by June 30.

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Administration officials have pushed back fiercely against the suggestion that Iran was cheating on the interim deal since the problem was first brought to light in a June 1 New York Times report. But independent experts say Iran's failure — and the apparent lowering of standards by the United States to cover for it — poses a serious problem for ongoing talks in Vienna, where the question of how to verify compliance has become the major sticking point holding up an agreement.

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