Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei said in a speech on Thursday that he has neither endorsed nor rejected the basic framework for an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program, which had been reported as agreed upon by both the P5+1 world powers and the Iranian regime.
The deal was widely praised by the Obama administration as one that would dramatically limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and that Iran had signed off on the understanding. Khamenei’s comments appear to reject the purported agreement.
“If the question is posed to me: ‘Are you for or against the latest nuclear negotiations,’ I would answer that I’m neither in favor nor opposed to it, since nothing has happened yet,” Khamenei said with regard to the nuclear negotiations. He added:
What has happened until now, does not guarantee the very principle of agreeing, nor negotiations ending in an agreement and not the substance of such an agreement. It does not even guarantee that these negotiations will end in an agreement. Therefore, it does not make any sense to congratulate. … I have never been optimistic concerning negotiations with the United States.
The “Supreme Leader” has ultimate authority over his country, which means that if he has not agreed to the basic framework for a nuclear accord, Iran as a country has not authorized the deal.
Khamenei said, “The White House, only two hours after the end of the negotiations, published a few pages, which in most regards was contrary to the realities, explaining the negotiations. … They were producing a statement which was faulty, incorrect and contrary to the substance of the negotiations.”
The Iranian dictator demanded that sanctions must be lifted the second he signs off on a final deal.
“Instant annulment of all sanction is one of the demands of our officials. … This issue is very important, and the sanctions must all be completely removed on the day of the agreement,” said the Ayatollah. “Should the removal of the sanctions be related to a process, the foundation of the negotiations would be senseless, since the goal of the negotiations was to remove the sanctions.”
Earlier in the day, President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, told his audience, “We will not sign any agreement unless all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the first day of implementation of the deal.”
Khamenei concluded that Iran’s nuclear “technical developments certainly must continue forcefully,” adding, “Securing these demands is in the hands of the negotiators which they must achieve by using the viewpoints of informed and trusted individuals, as well as the viewpoints of the critics.”