Iran’s weekly gripe about its nuclear deal with President Barack Obama was delivered by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday, as he complained the average Iranian is seeing little benefit from the deal.
“Weren’t the supposed sanctions lifted to change the life of the people? Is any tangible effect seen in people’s life after six months?” Khamenei said in an interview with Iranian state media, as related by Al-Arabiya.
Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, said the US has continued to thwart Iran’s economic relations with other countries despite the landmark accord. He said Tehran will not accept any further talks with Washington due to what he described as US violations of the deal, though he’s previously ruled out further negotiations in other speeches.
The Associated Press adds that Khamenei complained the process is not moving quickly enough. “Now the issue of a gradual lifting of the sanctions has been raised. Why?”
“They tell us ‘Let’s talk about regional issues, too.’ But the experience of the nuclear deal suggests this is deadly poison and in no way can the Americans be trusted,” Khamenei raged. “Negotiation with such a government means diversion from the correct path of advancement of the country, giving constant concessions and allowing a bullying policy in practice.”
There is some bullying going on, all right, but it’s Tehran perpetually trying to slam Obama up against the lockers and steal his lunch money. The Iranians know Obama cannot afford the political embarrassment of his nuclear deal falling apart, so they constantly accuse the U.S. of reneging on its commitments and threaten to walk away.
Everything the Obama administration told Americans that Iran would be obliged to do, meanwhile, becomes a sneaky trick Tehran will not put up with. An opening to develop better relations with Iran on “regional issues” was a big part of the Obama sales pitch to Americans.
In case anyone thought Obama’s deal would thaw Iranian relations with Israel, or the Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, Khamenei threw in a crack about how Saudi Arabia was committing “great sin and treason” against Islamic nations by sending a delegation to visit Israel.
Iran is also trying to bully foreign investors into pumping much-needed capital into its economy. The AP says some multinational companies “remain fearful of U.S. prosecution or fines for doing business with Iran,” but some of them are probably just fearful of doing business with Iran.
The launch of new contracts to attract vital investment to Iran’s lifeline oil industry has been postponed several times, as [President Hassan] Rouhani’s hardline rivals, with Khamenei’s backing, resist any end to a “buy-back” system that prevents foreign firms booking reserves or taking equity stakes in Iranian companies.
It also does not help that the flagship U.S. corporate deal with post-sanctions Iran was the highly controversial Boeing deal for $25 billion in aircraft, which critics have noted could have military applications for the aggressive Iranian theocracy, such as enhancing their ability to move troops across the region.