UPDATE 1900 GMT: Far from clarifying the Iranian position over the nuclear talks and sanctions relief, the speeches of President Rouhani (pictured) and the Supreme Leader (see Iran Daily) appear to have added to the confusion.

Initial reports of President Rouhani’s speech indicated that he had toughened Iran’s line, “We will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day [that an agreement is signed].”

However, other accounts of the speech have an essential difference in the statement, with Rouhani saying, ““We will not sign any agreement, unless all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the first day of the implementation of the deal.”

The President’s ambiguous declaration does not indicate whether the “first day of…implementation” refers to the beginning of Iran’s steps to meet the terms, or whether it refers — as set out in the US fact sheet on last Thursday’s nuclear framework between Iran and the 5+1 Powers — to the moment when the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies Iranian compliance.

The latter position is very different from the Supreme Leader’s line today:

Sanctions should be lifted all together on the same day of the agreement, not six months or one year later.

If lifting of sanctions is supposed to be connected to a process, then why do we negotiate?

Perhaps significantly, Iranian State outlets contribute to the confusion by reshaping or ignoring Rouhani’s statement. Fars News, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, omits the President’s reference to “implementation” of the nuclear agreement, and Press TV says nothing at all about his remarks on the talks, preferring his call for a ceasefire after Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

In contrast, Fars exalts Khamenei’s statement, “Supreme Leader Stresses Conditions of Final Deal with Powers”.

President Rouhani said on Thursday that Iran will only sign a comprehensive nuclear agreement with the 5+1 Powers if all sanctions are immediately ended.

In a televised speech on Nuclear Technology Day, Rouhani said, “We will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day….We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks.”

The President’s speech may portend a significant toughening of Iran’s negotiating position, only a week after a nuclear framework was reached with the 5+1 Powers (US, France, China, Russia, Germany, and Britain), over the timing of sanctions removal. It accompanied a speech by the Supreme Leader expressing caution about a final resolution: “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,”

Iranian officials, including Rouhani, have said repeatedly in public that US, European Union, and UN sanctions must be terminated on completion of the comprehensive deal. Specifically, They disputed the US fact sheet on last Thursday’s nuclear framework — reached after months of intense negotiations — which included the statement that sanctions will be suspended upon the International Atomic Energy Agency’s verification of Iranian compliance with the terms, a process which could take months.

However, last Saturday Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who led the Iranian negotiations in Switzerland over the framework, was closerto the American line in his comments on State TV. Zarif indicated that IAEA verification was in the framework — despite his own criticism of the US for releasing the fact sheet — and also supported the American claim of “snap-back” re-imposition of sanctions if Iran was found in violation of the comprehensive agreement’s provisions.

Those remarks appeared to sharpen high-level hostility to the framework. Zarif was challenged by MPs who called him into Parliament for discussions on Tuesday and implicitly by the Revolutionary Guards, whose English-language outlet highlighted protest over the framework.

After the Foreign Minister’s appearance in the closed-door meeting, the legislators expressed satisfaction and Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari gave his blessing to the framework.

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

It is not known if the Foreign Minister withdrew his statements about the sanctions timetable, including IAEA verification and the provision for re-imposition, in the meeting.

Today the President again put out Iran’s line that — despite an economic crisis fostered in part by sanctions — it was moving towards a nuclear agreement from strength rather than weakness:

Our main gain in the talks was the fact that U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged that Iranians will not surrender to bullying, sanctions and threats.

It is a triumph for Iran that the first military power in the world has admitted Iranians will not bow to pressure.

Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) are trying to conclude the details of the nuclear agreement before a June 30 deadline.