Tags: Iran | iran | nuclear talks | deal | sanctions | Ayatollah | ali Khamenei

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei Says Nuclear Deal Unlikely in March

By    |   Thursday, 19 February 2015 08:01 AM

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expressed pessimism over the likelihood that a deal on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program could be reached by the end of March, The New York Times reported.

"Even if we accept the demands that they want to dictate on us in the nuclear issue, the sanctions will not be removed since they are opposed to the Islamic Revolution in essence," Khamenei said in Tehran on Wednesday, the Iranian News Agency Fars reported.

Iran and the P5+1 group, comprised of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, have set the end of March as a deadline for reaching a political agreement, and July for hashing out technical details about which sanctions would be lifted in return for parallel Iranian steps.

Iran has long maintained that all sanctions must be lifted in one go as part of a final nuclear deal. It prefers a single deadline for completing the talks and opposes the idea of incrementally suspending economic sanctions as Tehran's compliance is measured.

By saying that he didn't expect all economic sanctions against Iran would be removed, Khamenei implied that this would be a stumbling block to closing a deal.

Khamenei, the ultimate authority in Iran, said in January that sanctions had to "really be lifted" for any agreement to take shape. Otherwise, Iran would continue to circumvent the sanctions by trying to become more and more economically self-sufficient, the Times reported.

Western intelligence agencies believe that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program and not, as Tehran asserts, a peaceful nuclear program.

The Iranians were angered last week when the European Union reimposed a ban on the National Iranian Tanker Company. The sanctions had been removed in July after the company argued it was not a government entity. In reinstituting the embargo, the EU said that the firm has strong ties to the regime, the Times reported.

The regime has allowed hardline criticism of the negotiations by those who complain that Iran would be required to give up too much in order to reach a deal, the Times reported.

The ayatollah himself said that the real goal of sanctions is to humiliate the Iranian nation and stop its efforts to create "a new Islamic civilization," according to FARS.

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Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expressed pessimism over the likelihood that a deal on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program could be reached by the end of March, The New York Times reported.
iran, nuclear talks, deal, sanctions, Ayatollah, ali Khamenei
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2015-01-19
Thursday, 19 February 2015 08:01 AM
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