Iran Daily, April 9: Supreme Leader Sets Out Caution Over Nuclear Deal — “Everything Lies in the Details”




Analysis: Rouhani & Supreme Leader Add to Confusion over Nuclear Talks and Sanctions Relief

In his first public comments since last week’s nuclear framework between Iran and the 5+1 Powers, the Supreme Leader has expressed caution about a final deal.

In an address on Thursday, Ayatollah Khamenei said of a comprehensive agreement, which is to be reached by a June 30 deadline:

What has been done so far neither guarantees [the clinching of] an agreement itself and its contents, nor ensures that the negotiations would proceed to the end.

Everything lies in the details. The other side which is known for backpedaling on its commitments may want to corner our country when it comes to the specifics.

The Supreme Leader’s address on Nuclear Technology Day accompanied a televised statement by President Rouhani that appeared to toughen Iran’s stance on removal of sanctions, insisting on their immediate termination on the day of a comprehensive agreement.

See Iran Analysis: Tehran Toughens Stance as Rouhani Declares “All Sanctions Must Be Lifted on Day of Nuclear Agreement”

Khamenei echoed:

He tied the sanctions issue to his long-standing distrust of the Americans, saying that “he has never been optimistic about negotiations with the US” although he “has supported and will support the [Iranian] negotiators” in the current talks.

The Supreme Leader took aim at the US fact sheet, released after last Thursday’s framework was announced, which said sanctions would be removed upon International Atomic Energy Agency verification of Iranian compliance with the terms of a comprehensive agreement.

The Supreme Leader also declared, “No unconventional inspection that would place Iran under special monitoring is acceptable. Foreign monitoring on Iran’s security is not allowed.”

Setting out these challenges, Khamenei concluded, “It is pointless congratulating me and others at this point.”

Insurgents Kills 2 More Military Officers in Southeast Iran

Insurgents have killed two more members of the Iranian security forces in Sistan-Baluchestan Province near the Pakistan border.

The two signal officers, working for the Revolutionary Guards, were killed as they returned from work in the mountainous areas of Mehrestan, a city in the far south of the province.

On Monday, eight border guards were killed by insurgents in the province. Both the Sunni factions Jaish ul-Adl and Ansar al-Furqan are suspected of responsibility.

Sunni insurgents have attacked Iranian forces for years, but this week’s attacks are the biggest spike in violence since five border guards were kidnapped and taken into Pakistan in March. One was killed before the others were released after weeks of negotiations.

Supreme Leader Raises Pressure Over Yemen Crisis, Calls Saudi Arabia “Inexperienced”

In his speech on Thursday, the Supreme Leader continued Iran’s political escalation of the Yemen crisis, challenging Saudi intervention as that of “inexperienced youngsters”.

See also Iran Feature: Tehran Steps Up Political Offensive Over Yemen Crisis

Ayatollah Khamenei said, “The Saudis will definitely be struck back in this issue and their nose will be rubbed against the ground. This action (of the Saudis) is not acceptable in the region and I warn that they will certainly lose interests.”

Two weeks ago, a Saudi-led coalition began bombing in the Arabian Peninsula country of Yemen to check the advance of the Houthi movement, which took power in the capital Sanaa in February.

The Iranians have given economic, political, and military support the Houthis, a Zaidi Shia group.

The Supreme Leader said that the Saudis used to show more self-restraint and sobriety in their foreign policy, but alleged that affairs are now controlled by a number of inexperienced young people who “want to show savagery”.

Khamenei also teased the Saudis over the nuclear issue:

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  1. The Nuclear deal has pushed the arabs to start cutting off Irans tentacles. The first start is Yemen.

    The Arab coalition has been formed to remove the minority Houthis coup on the government. Now things are in full scale war in Aden. I think this will possible push the hardliners in Iran to start bargaining for things in Yemen and Syria for Nuclear trade-offs with Obama.

    The Iran navy also announced that they will be sending battle ships to the gulf of Aden to supposedly “secure iranian fishing vessels”

    Obviously, its a test of the Arab coalitions resolve as Egyptian vessels are already in the gulf of Aden gaurding the bab al Mandeb route which leads into the Red Sea (vital sea entrance to Egypt’s Suez Canal).

    Yemen may be the first sign that the arabs are on a path to a more open war with Iran. Turkeys Erdogan was in KSA last week, and yesterday he landed in Iran. I presume there is some message passing from the Saudis that the buck stops here. I would guess its basically Saudi Arabia saying “You got your Nuke deal, now back out of Syria and Yemen” This would go well with the loss of Idlib and the losses in Daraa last week and the start of Operation decisive storm in Yemen at the same time.

    Lastly..Iran sent a civilian plane Yesterday to Meeca without permission to fly over Saudi Arabia. The plane (260 passengers) was turned away by the airport in Jeddah, as there was no scheduled flight for the aircraft and no flight permission in the first place. Saudi newspapers are citing this as Irans way to stoke flames pointing at Iranian newspapers complaining of Saudi “oppression” of the shiite pilgrims to Mecca.

    • No. the US bad cops are the republicans. Even Hillary Clinton sees the deal different than Obama.
      If the Iranians want a deal they need to access now – the window of possibilities is wide open at the moment.

      It is more than doubtful whether an American President after Obama would offer a deal.

  2. If Khamenei wants the deal, it will be reached.

    And so far, he is for it albeit on his terms.Without doubt, every detail and nuance of the nuclear negotiations process was discussed with Khamenei. It goes without saying that Abbas Araghchi, the chief nuclear negotiator, is closely connected to the SL`s office.

    In addition, without the blessing Khamenei, Rouhani and Zarif would not have enjoyed the political legitimacy to reach a framework with the six world powers. This follows that Khamenei is indeed in favor of the deal even though he may be publicly criticizing the US.

    In addition, the senior cadre of Iran’s military intuitions are aware of the Supreme Leader’s approval of the framework. (…)

    Iran’s IRGC and the SL are in need of the moderate Rouhani camp to regain full economic capability by having the crippling sanctions lifted and ensure the hold-on-power of the ruling establishment and Iran’s prime role in the region.

    Rouhani and Zarif can be viewed as the soft face the Islamic Republic.

    More fundamentally, Khamenei will employ a soft face of the government solely for the nuclear issue.

    In several speeches recently, he had made it clear that he is sending a team only to discuss Iran’s nuclear dossier and nothing else, implying Iran’s regional policies, defense system, support for Shiite proxies, and political influence in several regional countries.

    On the other hand, the SL needs the hardline core of the system as well to continue pursuing Iran’s regional hegemonic objectives, place Tehran at the center of the ME geopolitics, and suppress domestic oppositions.””

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