The head of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, has again given a powerful endorsement of Iran’s nuclear framework with the 5+1 Powers, declaring on Saturday, “Some solutions have been found and it seems the Islamic Republic’s principles and red lines in technical aspects have been accepted on the side of the enemy.”

Jafari initially came out in support of the April 2 framework on Tuesday, praising Iran’s nuclear negotiators. The statement ended days of sniping in Guards outlets about the framework, which set out the parameters for a comprehensive agreement to be reached by June 30.

See Iran Daily, April 8: Revolutionary Guards Swallow Their Criticism of Nuclear Framework

The commander did draw attention on Saturday to Tehran’s key challenge to the framework, “There are still ambiguities regarding the manner of sanctions removal, which should be clarified” as this “could lead to disagreement”.

However, Jafari’s statement refrained from the criticism of the US which marked the Supreme Leader’s public comments last Thursday. He toned down Iranian rhetoric which had proclaimed “lies” in an American fact sheet summarizing the framework.

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

The American fact sheet said US, European Union, and UN sanctions will be lifted upon International Atomic Energy Agency verification of Iranian compliance with a comprehensive agreement.

The Supreme Leader said on Thursday that sanctions must be terminated upon signature of the agreement. President Rouhani has taken an ambiguous position, saying the restrictions must end on “the very first day of implementation” of the terms.

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

Analyst Ali Vaez explains the dynamic between the private consensus reached in the framework and the tension of public presentation:

The parties have agreed to much more than they have divulged publicly….The issue of sanctions relief has been discussed in detail, and a mutually-accepted formula has been found. Now the exact schedule and implementation of that deal still needs to be discussed, but the formula is already there….

No one is back-tracking. They have different narratives, as the deal is not yet final.

Speaking on Saturday in Panama, President Obama said the framework envisages lifting sanctions on Iran “in a phased way”, but added that he was not surprised that the Supreme Leader and others in the regime are characterizing the deal “in a way that protects their political position”: “Even a guy with the title Supreme Leader has to be concerned about his own constituencies.”

Obama cautioned, “If that is his understanding and his position in ways that can’t be squared with our concern…then we’re not going to get a deal.”

Saudi Hackers Claim Takeover of Social Media Sites of Iranian State Al-Alam TV

Hackers have taken over the Twitter and YouTube sites of Iran’s Arabic-language Al Alam TV.

Cyber of Emotion“, which claims to be a Saudi group, says it carried out the hacks. Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya initially reported the news, but has now removed the article.

The affected Twitter accounts included Al-Alam News and “Al Alam Urgent“. Al-Alam’s YouTube account now features tribute videos to the Saudi monarchy.

Al-Alam says the hack occurred because the Syrias are “angry from Al-Alam’s news about Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes to Yemen in recent weeks”. The outlet has opened a new Twitter account, “Al Alam Channel“.

Iran Oil Official Defies Problems: Lower Prices Will Bring Foreign Investment

Defying the negative impact on Iran of both lower oil prices and long-term decline in foreign investment, a senior Iranian official has declared that the declining prices are good news for development of oil fields.

Mehdi Hosseini of the Oil Ministry said the drop of 60% in global price since June “gives rise to investment bids for the Iranian oil contracts” in a “well-paying region”. He said the risk for investors is “nothing”, compared with other world countries.

Almost all foreign companies withdrew their investment in Iran’s oil and gas fields by 2011, before the onset of US-led sanctions which further restricted production and exports. The recent fall in the oil price has compounded economic problems, with the Government facing a $70 billion decline in revenues compared to 2012.