Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei requested Western economic sanctions imposed against Tehran to be lifted as soon as final agreement is reached on the country’s nuclear development program.
Khamenei said, in an address Thursday, that he is “neither for nor against” the temporary settlement reached last week by Iran and six major world powers – the U.S., Russia, China, France, England and the EU – adding the deal is unfinished and still non-binding.
“I neither support it nor oppose it because nothing has happened yet. The entire issue lies in the details that they are meant to discuss individually,” Khamenei mentioned in a live speech on state television.
It was Khamenei first comments on the nuclear deal. The Ayatollah demanded that all international sanctions on Iran be lifted at the same time as any final agreement on the diminishing of Tehran’s nuclear program is signed.
Khamenei’s stand on the dropping the sanctions was the center topic of comments made earlier by President Hassan Rouhani, who explained that Tehran would not agree to any final deal unless all sanctions are lifted, among them being U.S. and EU nuclear-related economic sanctions.
Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, did show and express his continued support for the negotiations and mentioned he is open to a deal based on compromises that “respects Iran’s dignity and honor.”
The Ayatollah criticized United States’ “devilish intentions” for releasing a a document following the talks that defined Washington’s interpretation of the agreement.
Tehran and Washington are still arguing over several important details, including the pace at which international sanctions against Iran would be lifted once a final deal is reached. The United States prefers a gradual process, to ensure compliance from the Iranian part, while Tehran wants the move to be immediate and permanent.
Iran and the six world powers have set a June 30 deadline to resolve their disagreements. Khamenei said it would not be “the end of the world” if that deadline was not met.
The interim agreement was an important breakthrough in a prolonged international crisis, which lasted more than 12 years, over Iran’s nuclear program. It could also lead to the lifting of sanctions which have crippled Iran’s economy.
The U.S. government and some of its allies believe Iran’s nuclear program wants to produce weapons, while Iran argues that the program is for civilian energy purposes.
Image Source: World Bulletin