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Iran Nuclear Plan: Khamenei, Iran React

The following are excerpted statements by Iranian officials on the nuclear framework that was announced by the world’s six major powers and Iran on April 2.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

“Some people would ask why Leader has not yet taken a position on the recent nuclear statement; I would tell them there is no place for taking position at all, since our nuclear negotiators as well as the government say nothing special has happened and no binding agreement has been signed by the two sides.”

 
“If asked about my position about the negotiations, I would say neither I support nor I oppose the negotiations, since nothing special has happened yet; the crux of the matter and which is the most troublesome part as well is when it comes to painful details, which would push the negotiators, country, and the nation to the wall.”
 
 
“If anyone said the Leader opposed nuclear deal, it is an inaccuracy; I support a deal which secures our national interests and rights; however, I have said before that no deal is better than a bad deal, since it is preferred to a deal which violates the national rights and glory and denigrates our people.”
 
“I would clearly address here an ambiguity: Sometimes it is said that Leader oversees the details of the negotiations; this is also an inaccuracy. The overall framework of the affairs is communicated to the President and, in some cases, to the foreign minister; however, the details are up to them.”
 
 
“I have never been optimistic about the US; this pessimism has not been based on a whim; rather, it is years of experience which indicates that we should be pessimistic about the US intentions.”
 
“Our concerns and mistrust of the US are illustrated with the recent conduct of the White House, when it prepared a statement only two hours after the Lausanne joint statement, which was a distorted, politically motivated statement, and one which should not be trusted.”
 
 
“The Leader’s words addressed to the nation are based on mutual trust and as people trust me, I also trust the nation; here, I would have a recommendation to our officials; our nuclear negotiators and other authorities should sit with the prominent critics of the nuclear statement to find out what they say and use in their words what would be effective in the negotiations process…I stress that negotiations with the US would not go beyond the nuclear issue; and if they continue to deviate from the straight path, our reaction would be mistrust of them which is informed by our experience of their conduct.”
 
 
“I strongly insist that our officials not underestimate our current nuclear achievements; the nuclear industry is a necessity for our country; that some of the so-called intellectuals object that ‘why we would need nuclear industry?’ I believe, is deceiving the public.”
 


President Hassan Rouhani

 
“This will open a new chapter in cooperation with the world…
 
All of us should be after an agreement based on a win-win approach, common respect and common goals. Some think we should either fight with the world or give in to the powers. We believe there is a third option – a solution. We can cooperate with the world…
 
If others respect us, they will receive the same respect from our side. There should be respect in order to receive respect. Sanctions and pressures are worthless. This indicates that the administration’s approach has been the right one...
 
The objective that we’ve achieved today has been due to our unity and solidarity. We have consulted with all the officials and authorities and always benefitted from the guidelines of the leader of the revolution. He has generously provided us with the guidelines. I deem it necessary here to appreciate the leader and the head of the three branches of government…In the next step we need their support… “
—April 3, 2015 in a speech
 
 
“We have never negotiated the suspension of sanctions and if it were the case, there would be no agreement.”
 
“The world knows that there is no way but to [reach] agreement and understanding with Iran because the great, courageous and resistant Iranian people have stood by their ideals despite hardships.”
 
The world has come to the realization that Iran will not “yield to pressure and sanctions.”
 
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has never sought to invade any country…but we will defend ourselves against anybody who intends to encroach upon the people’s rights.”
—April 5, 2015 in a meeting with a group of senior officials
 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
 

Good evening ladies and gentleman. Let me again thank you all for having followed our work. We’ve done significant work. If we look back at recent history, and if we succeed, we’ve taken a major step, but we’re still some time away from reaching where we want to be. If we succeed, this will be one of the few cases where an issue is resolved through diplomatic means, an issue of significance. And that would require an approach that would concentrate on a non-zero sum outcome, a win-win outcome. And that was my country’s approach to this from the very beginning.

We appreciate the work that every delegation has put to this. We have done significant work. We have made achievements. We have made progress. We have decided to take steps for a period of time to assure who had concerns, which we thought those concerns were misplaced anyway, that our program is exclusively peaceful, has always been and will always remain exclusively peaceful. Those--None of those measures include closing any of our facilities. The proud people off Iran would never accept that. Our facilities will continue. We will continue enriching. We will continue research and development. Our heavy water reactor will be modernized and we will continue the Fordo facility. We will have, as you will hear, centrifuges installed in Fordo but not enriching. We will remain committed to the agreement and we will not enrich in Fordo. We will continue, we will focus our enrichment in Natanz. And we will do other activities while keeping our centrifuges in Fordo for a time that we have agreed.   
 
At the same time, all Security Council resolutions will be terminated. All U.S. nuclear-related secondary sanctions as well as E.U. sanctions will be terminated -- while the term of art for each case may be terminate implementation or cease implementation or terminate application, whatever the word may be, so that people will not get into trouble with the legal institutions. But the effect of which will be, when we implement our measures, there won't be no sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

And that, I think, would be a major step forward. We have stopped a cycle that was not in the interest of anybody. Not in the interest of non-proliferation and not in the interest of anybody to one that will, in fact, be a gain for all parties concerned. And I hope that at the end of this process we will all show that true dialogue and engagement with dignity we can, in fact, resolve problems, open new horizons and move forward.
—April 2, 2015 at a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland

 

 

—April 4, 2015 in an interview on national television
 
“I have told the western diplomats that Iran is capable of making an atom bomb anytime it wills, but the one and only fact that has stopped us from doing so is Ayatollah Khamenei’s Fatwa (an Islamic legal pronouncement) and not the sanctions and pressures levied at the country."
—April 7, 2015 in a briefing to parliament
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi
 
“[T]he language of threat and sanctions is not acceptable to us and the world has come to the conclusion that no threat and sanctions will work on the Iranian nation.”
“Iran’s nuclear program, including enrichment [activities], has been recognized in the recent statement in Lausanne and it is not seen as a threat anymore.”
—April 3, 2015 in a televised interview according to Press TV
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Mortea Sarmadi
 
“We have agreed on certain limitations which will not leave any impact on the normal course of our nuclear program; we have only excluded those parts that could cause concern in the international community. We have stopped 20%-grade uranium enrichment since we don’t need it for now.”
—April 6, 2015 during a visit to Tunisia via Anadolu news agency and Fars News
 
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi
 
“We have agreed that Iran must join an international consortium so that the nuclear waste which poses a great environmental risk to Iran and the world as a whole to be safely transported out of the country."
—April 7, 2015 in a briefing to parliament

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari
 
“The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps thanks the diplomacy machine for its sincere efforts and for its insistence on the red lines of the establishment.
 
“But, we are certain, as the esteemed president and foreign minister and members of the negotiating team have said the right to enrich uranium and maintain nuclear research and development and have all relevant sanctions lifted are the central demands of the Iranian people.
 
“In light of the idea of harmony and unanimity between the public and government, the Iranian people will support the diplomatic front as far as the nuclear issue is concerned and won’t allow the misleading interpretations of the [Lausanne] statement, particularly by the Americans, to dent the existing trust between them and their government.”
—April 7, 2015 in a meeting with IRGC commanders (translation via Iran Front Page)
 
Chairman of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi
 
“The Americans have acknowledged this (right) and the US president in his statement officially announced that they endorse Iran's enrichment.

“What Iran wanted eventually took place despite the plans proposed by the U.S., China and Russia; the Arak Heavy Water Reactor will continue to produce plutonium."
—April 5, 2015 in a statement
 
Basij Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi
 
“The comments made after the Lausanne negotiations once again showed the United States’ strong grudge against the Iranians and proved that the US officials are liars and untrustworthy.
 
“After 9 days of breathtaking nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, the US president and other officials now deny the principal agreements and present opposing interpretations.
 
“They cite Iran’s undertakings, but fabricate and deny the commitments that they have made to the Iranian delegation.
 
“The Americans do not want to lose their main pressure leverage, and they are in a rush to strike a deal because inefficiency of the sanctions is growing increasingly evident, and in the near future no one would comply with them.”
—April 6, 2015 in an address to Basij militia personnel
 
Kazzem Jalili, head of Parliament’s Research Center
 
“We should be concerned about the attitude of the westerners because the wall of mistrust has grown so tall inside Iran; we remember the Sa’adabad agreement, the modal plan [of action between Iran and the IAEA] and the like that all show the other side has not fulfilled its commitment.”
 
“We should not pay heed to the Western propaganda … ; rather we should only show care for the written text.”
—April 5, 2015 to reporters
 
Member of Parliament Ali Motahari
 
The deal framework represents a “new stage in the life of the Islamic Revolution, and I hope that the signing of the final deal will be in the interests of the people of Iran, and brings about economic prosperity.”
—April 2015 according to the press
 
Member of Parliament Gholam-Ali Jafarzade
 
""The AEOI chief told the closed-door session of the parliament today that the Islamic Republic of Iran has acquired such a (high level of) power in the nuclear technology that this very power has forced the western side to see no way out but sitting to the negotiating table with Iran."

—April 7, 2015 according to the press

Photo credit: President.ir

 

Congress Acts: Corker Bill on Iran

On April 14, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a bill that would require Congress to review and then vote on a final nuclear deal with Iran. If the full Senate and House of Representatives approve the “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015,” President Barack Obama would not be permitted to waive economic sanctions on Iran as part of a deal for at least 30 days during the initial review period.

“Despite opposition from the White House all along, I am proud of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s unanimous support of this bill that will ensure the American people – through their elected representatives – will have a voice on any final deal with Iran, if one is reached,” said Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker (R-TN). For months, Corker has called for Congressional weigh-in, arguing that sanctions passed by lawmakers brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place. He coauthored the legilsation with Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
 
The White House initially threatened to veto the bill, arguing that curbing the president’s powers could negatively impact negotiations. But President Obama backed off after the review period was shortened and the committee dropped the requirement for the president to certify that Iran has not been supporting or carrying out terrorist attacks against the United States or its citizens. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) played a key role in brokering the compromise between the Obama administration, Democrats and Republicans. The 19-0 vote suggested that the Senate likely has a veto-proof majority.
 
President Obama has stressed that he reserves the right to veto the bill if it is amended before passing the House and Senate. On April 28, the Senate rejected an amendment, introduced by Republican Senator Ron Johnson, that would have considered any nuclear deal a treaty requiring ratification by two thirds of the Senate.
 
The following is a summary of the bill released by Senator Corker’s office.
 
Congressional Review: Within five days of concluding a comprehensive agreement with Iran, the president must submit to Congress (1) the text of the agreement and all related materials, (2) a verification assessment on Iranian compliance, and (3) a certification that the agreement meets U.S. non-proliferation objectives and does not jeopardize U.S. national security, including not allowing Iran to pursue nuclear-related military activities.
 
No Suspension of Congressional Sanctions During Review Period: The president is prohibited from suspending, waiving or otherwise reducing congressional sanctions for up to 52 days after submitting the agreement to Congress. Following an initial review period of 30 days, the legislation includes an additional 12 if Congress passes a bill and sends it to the president. If the president vetoes the legislation, Congress would have an additional 10 days to override a veto. If the deal is submitted after July 9, the review period increases to 82 days (60 days plus 12 days for the president to veto and 10 more days for Congress to override a veto). During this period, Congress may hold hearings and approve, disapprove or take no action on the agreement. Passage of a joint resolution of disapproval (over a presidential veto) within the review period would block the president from implementing congressional sanctions relief under the agreement.
 
Congressional Oversight and Iranian Compliance: After the congressional review period, the president would be required to provide an assessment to Congress every 90 days on Iran’s compliance with the agreement. In the event the president cannot certify compliance, or if the president determines there has been a material breach of the agreement, Congress could vote, on an expedited basis, to restore sanctions that had been waived or suspended under the agreement. It also requires the president to make a series of detailed reports to Congress on a range of issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, its ballistic missiles work, and its support for terrorism globally, particularly against Americans and our allies. With this information, Congress will be able to determine the appropriate response in the event of Iran sponsoring an act of terrorism against Americans.
 
The legislation was coauthored by Senators Corker, Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.). Cosponsors of the bill include Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Bill Nelson (D- Fla.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Angus King (I-Maine), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Dean Heller (R-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
 
Click here for the full text of the bill.  
 

US Concerned About Russian Missile Deal

On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting a ban on the sale of advanced S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the embargo was no longer necessary given progress in nuclear talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers.  “We believe that at this stage there is no longer need for this kind of embargo - from the Russian side it was unilateral and voluntary,” he said.

Tehran welcomed the move while Washington and Tel Aviv expressed concern.Given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon that this isn’t the time to be selling these kinds of systems to them,” State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said.
 
Moscow originally imposed the ban and cancelled a $800 million contract to supply the systems to Iran in 2010 after it supported a U.N. Security Council resolution that imposed sanctions on Iran and restricted the arms trade. Iran hopes to receive the missile systems by the end of the year. But a top adviser to Putin told Interfax that delivery of the missile system “will take some time.” The timing for delivery “depends on our manufacturers. I think it will be a minimum of half a year to finish the work,” said Nikolai Patrushev. The following are excerpted remarks on the deal by Russian, Iranian, U.S. and Israeli officials.
 
Russia
 

 
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
 
The world’s six major powers and Iran made “substantial progress in resolving the Iranian nuclear program [dispute]. The political framework of the final deal agreed upon was highly praised by the international community.”
 
“We believe that at this stage there is no longer need for this kind of embargo - from the Russian side it was unilateral and voluntary.”
 
“Meanwhile, a modern air defense system is now very relevant to Iran, especially taking into account the severe escalation of tensions in neighboring areas and especially the rapid development of military activity in Yemen in recent weeks.”
 
The system “will not put at risk the security of any state in the region, including Israel.”
—April 13, 2015 in a press conference
 
Iran
 
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani
 
“I hope that the anti-missile defense systems will be delivered by the end of the year and, naturally, as soon as the systems are delivered to Iran, the case [against Russia] will be dropped.”
 
“Great strategic possibilities exist in the relations between Russia and Iran.”
—April 14, 2015 according to Sputnik and Interfax
 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
 
“We welcome the right decision by President Putin to move forward... I think it is a step in the right direction and we are looking forward to expanding our relations.”
—April 14, 2015 at a press conference in Madrid, Spain
 
United States
 
State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf
 
MS HARF: Well, we’ve certainly made our concerns with the sale of the S-300 system to Iran known for some time.  This certainly isn’t new.  The Secretary raised those concerns in a call with Foreign Minister Lavrov this morning.  We don’t believe it’s constructive at this time for Russia to move forward with this, but we’ve worked very closely with the Russians on the P5+1 negotiations.  We don’t think this will have an impact on unity in terms of inside the negotiating room.  So they did discuss it, discussed the Iran negotiations in general as well, and I don’t have more of a readout for you than that.
 
QUESTION:  Okay.  Is it the Administration’s position that the S-300s, the transfer of them to Iran would violate existing sanctions?
 
MS HARF:  In terms of UN Security Council sanctions, it’s my understanding that it would not.
And we think given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon that this isn’t the time to be selling these kinds of systems to them.  So in general, that’s what our concerns are based on. And we have concerns about things separate and apart from whether they would be a violation of Security Council sanctions.
—April 13, 2015 in a press briefing
 
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
 
QUESTION: The Kremlin has said that Putin has lifted a ban on providing anti-missile rocket systems to Iran.  This is also coming as Russia seems to be prepared to supply grain and other equipment in an oil-for-goods swap with Iran that may position them to have kind of a head start when and if sanctions are lifted.  Is the President -- has he been briefed on this?  What is his response?
 
MR. EARNEST:  Well, Julia, we’ve seen those reports as they relate to the possible sale of the S-300 anti-ballistic missile system to Iran.  The United States has previously made known our objections to that sale, and I understand that Secretary Kerry had an opportunity to raise these concerns once again in a recent conversation with his Russian counterpart, Mr. Lavrov.
 
I’m not in a position to, obviously, speculate on the decision-making process that Russia is engaged in right now, but I do think it’s safe to say that Russia understands that the United States certainly takes very seriously the safety and security of our allies in the region. 
 
As it relates to the other oil-for-goods discussion, this is something that has been -- this is a discussion that has been underway for several months now, and we’ve obviously been aware that there are proposals involving Russia and Iran to, essentially, barter Iranian oil for Russian goods.  We’re studying the details, and if this sort of arrangement were to move forward it would raise serious concerns and even could potentially raise sanctions concerns.  So we’re going to continue to evaluate that moving forward as well.
 
QUESTION: Could it endanger finalizing a deal by the end of June?
 
MR. EARNEST:  Well, one of the things that we have indicated has been critical to our success in this diplomatic process has been the unity of the international community.  And the United States and our partners in Europe have been able to work closely with both Russia and China to bring Iran to the negotiating table by putting in place and enforcing tough sanctions, and engaging in a negotiating position that has succeeded in getting Iran to make serious commitments about limitations and, in some cases, even rolling back specific elements of their nuclear program. 
 
So we value the coordination and unity that we have been able to maintain throughout this rather long process.  In fact, we recently even saw that an official from the foreign ministry in Russia indicated that the U.S. document outlining the parameters of the agreement with Iran was consistent and did reflect the agreement that was reached at the table.  And again, that underscores the kind of unity around the specific agreement that we believe has been critical to our success.
 
We’ll obviously evaluate these two other proposals moving forward.  And obviously we have been in direct touch with Russia to make sure that they understand -- and they do -- the potential concerns we have.
—April 13, 2015 in a press briefing
 
Israel
 
Benjamin Netanyahu
 
“The sale of advanced weapons to Iran is the result of the dangerous agreement that is emerging between Iran and the [six world] powers.
 
“After this arms deal [for the S-300] is there anyone who can seriously claim that the [framework] agreement with Iran will increase the security in the Middle East.”
—April 14, 2015 in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin
 
Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz
 
“At a time when Iran denies clause after clause of the agreement declared last week, the international community has already begun easing its sanctions.
 
“This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is receiving from the nuclear deal that is being prepared, and proof that the Iranian economic growth which follows the lifting of sanctions will be exploited for arming itself and not for the welfare of the Iranian people.
“Instead of demanding that Iran desist from the terrorist activity that it is carrying out in the Middle East and throughout the world, it is being allowed to arm itself with advanced weapons that will only increase its aggression.”
—April 13, 2015 in a statement
 
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon
 
The Iran-Russia deal is “something we have been warning about even before the details [of the agreement] were concluded. It was clear, even then, that sanctions will be lifted, and that of course this will influence and strengthen the Iranian economy.
 
“This issue was not discussed at all [during nuclear talks with Iran], and this is one of the biggest holes in the agreement. It is outside of the framework agreement, and this is certainly very disturbing. I hope that there will be time in the coming months to fix this.
 
“We continue to warn about the bad agreement that is developing with Iran, which does not include terrorism, missile components, or the military dimension of the Iranian nuclear project. Hence, we are against this bad agreement.”

—April 14, 2015 in a statement

Obama and Abadi: On Iran Role in Iraq

On April 14, President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi held talks at the White House. During a photo op, Obama answered a question about Iran’s role in Iraq. The following is an excerpt of his remarks.

QUESTION: Mr. President, in terms of Iran’s involvement in Iraq -- are you comfortable with the level of coordination that’s been going on with Iran, even if it’s through a third party?
 
PRESIDENT OBAMA:  This is something that we discussed extensively.  I think that, as I’ve said before and I will repeat, we expect Iran to have an important relationship with Iraq as a close neighbor.  And obviously the fact that Iraq is a Shia-majority country means that it will be influenced and have relations with Iran as well.  And at the point in which Daesh or ISIL was surging and the Iraqi government was still getting organized at that point, I think the mobilization of Shia militias was something that was understood to protect Baghdad or other critical areas. 
 
Once Prime Minister Abadi took power, once he reorganized the government and the security forces, once the coalition came in at the invitation of and in an agreement with a sovereign Iraqi government, then our expectation is from that point on, any foreign assistance that is helping to defeat ISIL has to go through the Iraqi government.  That’s how you respect Iraqi sovereignty. That’s how you recognize the democratic government that was hard-earned and is being upheld in the work that Prime Minister Abadi is doing in reaching out to all the various factions inside of Iraq.
 
And so I think Prime Minister Abadi’s position has been that he welcomes help, as you just heard, but it needs to be help that is not simply coordinated with the Iraqi government but ultimately is answerable to the Iraqi government and is funneled through the chain of command within the Iraqi government.  And that’s what we’ve been very careful to do.  I’ve made clear from the outset that ISIL was an enemy and we will make sure that they do not threaten the United States and we will go after them wherever they are.  But when we are working with a strong ally and partner like Iraq, it is very important for us to coordinate our activities so that the impression is not that the United States is somehow moving back into Iraq, but rather the United States is doing what’s ultimately best for the Iraqi people, even as we join in fighting a common enemy.
 
And that’s why Prime Minister Abadi’s clear statement, both inside of Iraq and to the world community, that it is important for all fighting forces to be under unified control of the Iraqi government is so important.  And I think it’s particularly significant that that view is shared among a wide range of political parties inside of Iraq and was echoed by Grand Ayatollah Sistani just recently.  It sends a clear message that ultimately Iraq is in control of its own destiny.  And part of that means that those who possess arms and have the ability to apply force and defend their country have to be under a single government. 
 
As Prime Minister Abadi mentioned, that's particularly important in order to ensure that the government is accountable for the actions of armed forces so that if there are criminal acts or sectarian retributions that are carried out, that ultimately Prime Minister Abadi is able to call those forces to account and to control them, to make sure that you don't have a backlash as consequence of the efforts to clear territory from ISIL’s control.
 
So our coordination I think has consistently improved over time as Prime Minister Abadi has gained greater control over Iraqi security forces.  As the training efforts and equipping efforts that we're engaged in continue to improve, coordinating how our air power can support and expand into a more effective Iraqi security force deployment is going to continue to be critical.  But none of this works unless there is a perception among all the parties involved -- Shia, Sunni, Kurd, and others inside of Iraq -- that this is an inclusive government that is listening to the voices of all the people and including them in decision-making.  And the fact that Prime Minister Abadi is doing that makes our job and the coalition’s job of coordination much easier.
 

Iran Wins in U.S. – at Wrestling

On April 12, Iran’s national wrestling team beat the U.S. squad 5-3 to win the 2015 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup. It was Iran’s sixth time taking the title and its fourth consecutive victory. A congratulatory message was posted on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Twitter account soon after the match.

The competition was held in Los Angeles, California, which is home to a large community of Iranian expatriates. Iranian fans reportedly made up more than half of the 4,234 spectators at The Forum and cheered so loudly that the Iranian team may have had “the sense of a home-mat advantage,” according to the Orange County Register.
 
As an individual, American Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs performed well. But his 10-0 victory over Iran’s Morteza Rezaei Ghaleh was not enough to turn the match around. “There aren’t a lot of times you beat an Iranian 10-0, so it was a great win,” he said. “They were giving it to us, they were relentless. They’ve got bells, whistles,” Burroughs told the Register. The following is a roundup of coverage of the event.
 

 

Click here for the full results of the match.
 

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