Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
© image: APA / EPA / Official Supreme Leader website
The spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, apparently wants to hold on in spite of the agreement in the nuclear dispute at its hostile course against the United States. The agreement would "change nothing" on the policy towards the "arrogant" United States, Khamenei said on Saturday in a speech at the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.
US President Barack Obama defended the nuclear agreement on the other hand again against criticism. "Our policy towards the arrogant US government will not change," Khamenei said in his speech, which was celebrated by the audience with the usual "Death to the USA" chants. An improvement in relations with Washington gave the Ayatollah again a rejection. Negotiations would be conducted as the nuclear issue only in "exceptional circumstances". Talks about other regional and bilateral issues does not exist.
The Iranians would continue to support instead their "friends in the region," Khamenei said. Specifically, he called on the Syrian and the Iraqi government and the "oppressed peoples" in Yemen, in Bahrain and in the Palestinian territories.
The five UN veto powers and Germany had completed their years of negotiations on a nuclear deal with Tehran on Tuesday. The Iranian government is committed to far-reaching cuts in uranium enrichment and accept comprehensive international inspections. In return, the sanctions against Iran should be repealed. In case of violations, the sanctions should however be imposed immediately.
Skepticism about nuclear deal
Khamenei, who in Iranian politics has the final say, had long expressed skepticism about the nuclear talks. He introduced himself, although always behind the negotiating team, but at the same time put ever new "red lines" established. The negotiators had "taken great pains and worked hard" to Khamenei also said this time. They would have "done their part and should get their reward" - regardless of whether the final agreement "will be approved or not" now.
Khamenei did not yet exist to detect whether he approves the agreement. However, he did not repeat the sharp criticism of high-ranking Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Kermani Mowahedi of Friday, the deal would be exaggerated and insulting.
Obama: No fear of critical issues
Obama said Saturday in his weekly address, the Agreement shall prevent Tehran "permanently" from the construction of nuclear weapons. It can not indeed protect neighboring countries of Iran and the world from "all hazards" from Tehran. Without the agreement threatens the "most unstable region in the world" but another war. He welcomed a "thorough examination" of the Agreement and have no fear of critical issues, Obama said. As commander in chief of US forces but he must "not apologize for it, to ensure the security of the country".
The relationship between the US and Iran is tense for decades. Diplomatic relations were broken off after the 1979 Iranian revolution. It was not until the inauguration of the moderate President Hassan Rouhani 2013 improved the relationship.
Fierce resistance in both countries
However, the nuclear deal comes both in Iran and in the United States with fierce resistance. In Iran, the ultra-conservative camp against concessions to the West, and an improvement in relations with the US braces. In Washington, especially the Republicans oppose a lifting of sanctions against Tehran. In Congress, they could vote against the lifting of a 60-day review period.