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Analysis: Supreme Leader, Walking a Tightrope, Still Backs Nuclear Talks with US

SUMMARY: Despite a flutter over remarks by the Supreme Leader on Saturday that all was “not fitting” in President Rouhani’s trip to New York last week — see separate analysis — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (pictured) has maintained the push for nuclear talks with the US as well as other powers.

Zarif said in an interview on Iranian TV late Saturday that Tehran is ready to give Washington the opportunity to prove its goodwill.

The Foreign Minister seeks a “win-win” scenario when nuclear talks resume on October 15-16 in Geneva with the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia).

At the same time, he maintained the Islamic Republic’s immediate conditions for an agreement: recognition of Iran’s right to “peaceful” uranium enrichment and relief from US-led sanctions.

Zarif stressed that any nuclear deal should allow Tehran to maintain its uranium enrichment while providing greater assurances the program remains peaceful.

Meanwhile, there is a notable omission on Press TV, which published Zarif’s remarks.

The State outlet does not mention any criticism by the Supreme Leader of President Rouhani’s five-day trip to the US, which included a speech at the United Nations and a historic phone call with President Obama. Instead, it headlines, “Leader Supports Rouhani‚Äôs Diplomacy“.


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Head of Atomic Energy: 4 People Arrested for Trying to Sabotage Nuclear Site

At least four people have been arrested for trying to sabotage a nuclear site, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation has said.

Ali Akbar Salehi said officials had monitored and then arrested a “number of saboteurs” before they could carry out their plan.

“Four of these individuals were caught red-handed and their interrogations are ongoing,” Salehi asserted.

He did not identify the nuclear site or when the suspects were seized.