08/21/2014 03:46 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2014

AFP Report Makes Massive Translation Error


On Thursday morning, Agence France Presse reported that Iran told the U.S. that it would help it fight militants of the Islamic State group with one big condition: the U.S. had to lift sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

According to AFP, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a TV interview that "if we agree to do something in Iraq, the other side of the negotiations should do something in return... All the sanctions that are related to Iran's nuclear program should be lifted."

Turns out, that's not what Zarif said.

According to the State Department, the translator mixed up Iraq with Arak, which is the name of an Iranian heavy-water reactor.

Al-Monitor's Arash Karami read a transcript of Zarif's speech and confirmed the translation error.

Arak has been a sticking point for the U.S. in negotiations with Iran. The U.S. has expressed concern that the plant could be used to produce enough plutonium to power dangerous nuclear weapons.