LATEST: Deputy Minister — $20 Billion Oil Barter Deal With Russia “Hard to Agree”

Iran and the US may be pursuing a comprehensive nuclear agreement, but that hasn’t stopped the colorful language of defiance in the Tehran Friday Prayer.

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatamai, the hardest of the hardline clerics who lead the Prayers, said President Rouhani should answer the “nonsense” of US President Obama “with a firm strike at his mouth“.

Khatami continued his sniping at talks with Washington, which also include the other 5+1 Powers (Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia): Iranian officials “should not answer bad [behavior] with [good] behavior”.

The cleric built his remarks upon the anniversary of the failed 1980 US mission, in which eight troops were killed, to rescue American hostages from the occupied Embassy in Tehran. He denounced American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as plotting against Iran, and also chided the US over the Ukraine crisis.

He concluded, “The US presidents from Carter to Obama have been trying to topple the Islamic system, but they did not succeed to do so.”

Iran and the 5+1 resume high-level talks in mid-May in Vienna, seeking a final nuclear agreement before an interim deal expires on July 20.

The Rouhani Government offered no statement on Khatami’s remarks.

Deputy Minister: $20 Billion Oil Barter Deal With Russia “Hard to Agree”

Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi has dampened talk of a $20 billion barter deal with Russia.

Majedi, at a conference in Dubai, said the trade of 500,000 barrels per day of oil was unlikely:

Many people think oil and gas is the main issue but this is very difficult because both countries are producers and exporters of oil and gas.

Maybe this is one way but it’s not easy and up to now no contract, no agreement, has been signed between the two countries. But the negotiation is continuing.

Supreme Leader, Officials Jab at US on 34th Anniversary of Failed Hostage Rescue Attempt

The Tehran Friday Prayer leader was far from the only official sniping at the US on the 34th anniversary of the military attempt to rescue 52 American hostages from the occupied US Embassy in Tehran.

The Supreme Leader’s website released a set of photographs from 1980 of Ayatollah Khamenei visiting the aftermath of “Operation Eagle Claw” in the Tabas Desert, in which eight American troops died.

The Supreme Leader said in a statement, “The U.S. got hit in the head but still hasn’t learned anything. The almighty God embarrassed them in Tabas.”

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Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, in a ceremony in Tabas, added, “The U.S. hasn’t forgotten the slap they received in the Tabas Desert. Today (they) are looking for ways to harass us, because their previous methods didn’t work.”

(h/t Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani)