White House counters Iran leaders, says Iran nuclear deal requires phased sanctions removal

The White House says a nuclear deal with Iran would require lifting sanctions against Tehran through a phased in process. That assertion counters the stance taken by Iran's supreme leader and its president that sanctions would have to be lifted immediately after the deal's implementation.

White House deputy national security adviser Benjamin Rhodes said the framework between Iran and international negotiators allows for sanctions to be removed over time, not at once. He said President Barack Obama has made it clear that if final details negotiated by June 30 do not meet the framework, then there will be no deal.

Rhodes said Thursday's remarks by Supreme Leader Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani reflect internal pressures from Iran hardliners, but don't mean a final agreement is unattainable.