United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Comments on Final Days of Nuclear Talks

On June 22, deputy foreign ministers from Iran and the world's six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States - resumed nuclear talks with only days remaining before the June 30 deadline for a deal. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Vienna on June 26 to meet with his foreign minister counterparts. 

On June 23, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seemed to harden his stance on nuclear talks with the world’s six major powers. Kerry, however, said Khamenei’s remarks would not affect the talks. “This is something that's been going on throughout the negotiations,” he said the next day. On June 25, Kerry said, "I’m not declaring optimism.  I am hopeful." 
 
Russian deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator Sergei Ryabkov said on June 25 that around 90 percent of the final document has been drafted. But an unnamed U.S. official indicated that the talks could extend past the deadline, saying "We may not make June 30, but we will be close." 
 
The following are excerpted remarks from officials on the status of the talks.

United States 
 
President Barack Obama
 
"With respect to the larger issue of whether I trust the Iranian regime, as I've said before, there are deep-seated disagreements and divisions between the United States and Iran, and those aren't going to go away overnight.  The goal of the nuclear negotiations is not to rely on trust, but to set up a verifiable mechanism where we are cutting off the pathways for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
 
"And John Kerry, right now, is there, along with Secretary of Energy Moniz, who’s one of the top nuclear physicists in the world.  They are deeply engaged in negotiations.  My hope is that they can achieve an agreement, but my instructions to them have been extremely clear:  The framework agreement that was established at Lausanne is one that, if implemented effectively and codified properly, would, in fact, achieve my goal, which is Iran not obtaining a nuclear weapon. 
 
"There has been a lot of talk on the other side from the Iranian negotiators about whether, in fact, they can abide by some of the terms that came up in Lausanne.  If they cannot, that’s going to be a problem -- because I’ve said from the start I will walk away from the negotiations if, in fact, it’s a bad deal.  If we can’t provide assurances that the pathways for Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon are closed, and if we can’t verify that, if the inspections regime -- the verification regime is inadequate, then we’re not going to get a deal.  And we’ve been very clear to the Iranian government about that.
 
"And the good news is, is that our P5+1 partners in these negotiations feel exactly the same way.  So there are still some hard negotiations to take place, but ultimately this is going to be up to the Iranians to determine whether or not they meet the requirements that the international community has set forth to be able to fairly and accurately and consistently assess whether or not they have foreclosed the possibility of obtaining a nuclear weapon.  And given past behavior on the part of Iran, that can’t simply be a declaration by Iran and a few inspectors wandering around every once in a while; that’s going to have to be a serious, rigorous verification mechanism.  And that, I think, is going to be the test as to whether we get a deal or not."
—June 30, 2015 in a press conference with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

 

Secretary of State John Kerry 
 
"We are not going to be guided by or conditioned by or affected or deterred by some tweet that is for public consumption or domestic political consumption. What matters to us is what is agreed upon within the four corners of a document and that is what is yet to be determined." 
 
"It may be that the Iranians will not fill out the full measure of what was agreed at Lausanne and, in that case, there will not be an agreement." 
—June 24, 2015, according to the press 
 
"We are not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another." 
—June 23, 2015, according to the press 
 
QUESTION:  Are you hopeful on Iran?  Are you hopeful on Iran, Secretary? 
 
SECRETARY KERRY:  I’m always hopeful.  Yes, I’m hopeful.  I’m not declaring optimism.  I am hopeful. 
—June 25, 2015, in a press briefing
 
"We have a lot of hard work to do.  We have some very tough issues, and I think we all look forward to getting down to the final effort here to see whether or not a deal is possible.  I think that everybody would like to see an agreement, but we have to work through some difficult issues."
— June 27, 2015, according to the press
 
 
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
 
“The supreme leader has chosen to make more and more public pronouncements and declare red lines that would preclude a deal, frankly.”
 
“We’ll see if this is trying to strengthen the hand of the negotiating team or whether these are viewed as really hard positions. Because if they are, I don’t see how a deal could happen with all the things that he’s now saying are required.”
—June 29, 2015, according to the press
 
State Department Spokesperson John Kirby 
 
Kerry's comments on possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program do not indicate "any kind of concession or change in the policy. It's just simply not true." 
 
"The sanctions lifting will only occur as Iran takes the steps agreed, including addressing possible military dimensions." 
 
"We've said we're not looking for a confession (from Iran); we've already made judgments about the past." 
—June 24, 2015, according to the press
 
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
 
“If the Iranians refuse to agree to a final agreement that is consistent with the framework that was reached in April, then there won’t be an agreement.”
—June 29, 2015, according to the press

 

Iran 
 
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

 

 

Click here for more information on Khamenei's "red lines" outlined in his June 23 speech 

President Hassan Rouhani 
 
 
“The government’s approach in foreign policy has been constructive interaction with the world, while respecting this red line: ‘Preserving independence, honor and national pride’, and on cultural issues, giving more space to all those active in the fields of culture and arts with respect for moral red lines and Islamic teachings." 
 
 “What brought powerful countries to the negotiating table was the resistance of the Iranian nation to pressures by ill-wishers and the failure of the sanctions.”  
 
 “Under the conditions of sanctions, we managed to curb the inflation with people’s help and get out of stagnation. It was again under the same conditions of sanctions when investment grew.”  
 
“If the opposite party [in the nuclear talks] does not make excessive demands, an agreement would be within reach and we will cross this historic bottleneck.” 
—June 23, 2015, according to leader.ir 
 
“If the other side breaches the deal, we will go back to the old path, stronger than what they can imagine.”
—June 30, 2015 according to IRNA via Reuters
 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
 
 
"All negotiating sides should avoid excessive demands and allegations outside international frameworks to pave the way for achieving an agreement." 
 
"There are still some differences (remaining between the two sides); some of them are technical and some are political, anyhow we are trying to accomplish the work soon." 
 
"During my meetings with EU foreign policy chief (Federica Mogherini) and foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain, we will discuss the latest conditions of the nuclear talks and ways to strike a final agreement as well as the need for joint action to make this possible in future." 
—June 22, 2015, according to the press 
 
“The US will have lost a major opportunity, probably unique. But, for us, our population is accustomed to making necessary sacrifices to preserve its dignity and its rights." 
 
“It’s not about nationalism or chauvinism. It’s simply about having historical depth. Several years are a brief period in the history of a country with millennia as its depth." 
 
If the diplomacy fails, “It won’t be the end of the world.” 
—June 23, 2015, in an interview with The New Yorker 
 
“We need to work really hard in order to be able to make progress and move forward.  We’re determined to do everything we can in order to be able to make this important milestone, but that depends on a lot of things and we’re going to work on them.”
— June 27, 2015, according to the press
 
"We have come to Vienna to reach an agreement which fully respects the Iranian nation's interests and rights and will be a good agreement for the entire world.”
 
"We are sure that if the other side accepts to recognize the Iranian people's rights and acts upon its undertakings, that is to say it removes the sanctions against Iran and fulfills its part of the undertakings concurrent with Iran's measures and avoid raising excessive demands, we will certainly reach an agreement which will be beneficial to everyone.”
 
"Only reaching a good agreement and proper results is important."
 
"We go to Vienna to achieve a lasting and fair deal.”
 
"As the Supreme Leader has reiterated the Iranians are seeking an honorable agreement and they will not tolerate excessive demands."
—June 28, 2015, according to the press

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi
 
"We have repeatedly said that Iran's peaceful nuclear program is for technological purposes and their application will be according to international standards which may resolve their concerns."
 
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has set its own boundaries for nuclear talks, which lets no opportunity cross the redlines.”
— June 29, 2015, according to the press
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi  
 
"Iran wants to be exonerated from the PMD case and it should be become clear that the PMD cases have been false and during the negotiations, we pressure the opposite side and insist that the fate of this case should come under light within the framework of the agreement." 
—June 17, 2015, according to the press 
 
"Differences of opinion on the text of a comprehensive agreement have been reduced to some extent, but not as much progress has been made as we expected." 
 
“The text of the deal is a complicated one, which has different technical, legal and, above all, political dimensions. The text must undergo full reviews, first at the level of experts and later at the level of deputy foreign ministers." 
—June 21, 2015, according to the press 
 
"In certain topics, they also have different stances which may not be harmonized easily."
"Some progress has been made in main contexts compared to annexes."

"We have decided to reach an agreement within the deadline. We will keep up the job for several days to clinch a deal at last."
—June 26, 2015, according to the press
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi
 
"On both general topics, nuclear and sanctions, there are still technical problems that need to be solved. And to be frank, there are also political decisions that need to be made."
 
"I should emphasize here is that in Lausanne we went into a lot of detail on the nuclear side. We also discussed sanctions, but compared to what we achieved on the nuclear issue, we didn't get as far."
 
We have included in the text voluntary implementation of the AP. This will be until a later stage, where it should be ratified by the Iranian parliament. This means it will become part of Iran's national laws. So, if we reach an agreement, Iran will abide by the AP, which also entails managed access.
 
"I don't think there will be any problem in the future on the implementation of the AP. You know, this is about exceptional cases, not just any case. Of course, this makes people nervous. I can't imagine the United States for instance allowing this. It's not just Iran being sensitive; no country will just open up its [military] facilities. And Iran is not an exception. We've tried to make the agency's job easier, given daily access to inspectors."
—June 30, 2015, according to the press
 
Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani  
 
"The nuclear negotiating team should be supported, and meantime, move within the framework of the Islamic Republic's redlines." 
—June 24, 2015, according to the press 
 
Director of the Management and Planning Organization Mohammad Bagher Nobakht 
 
“If the good deal that is sought by the Islamic Republic is not struck and there remain obscurities that could be settled with the extension of talks, we will naturally agree to the extension [of the talks]." 
—June 25, 2015, according to the press 
 
Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar  
 
"Reaching a fair and balanced agreement which can guarantee all our legitimate nuclear rights is expected." 
—June 23, 2015, in a meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg 
 
European Union

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini
 
"I would say that the political will is there. I've seen it from all sides. So we have tasked our negotiating teams to start working immediately tonight on the text [of the final deal].”
Negotiators are drafting the text of the final accord and will “try and close all the issues in order to translate the political understanding that we found in [the Swiss city of] Lausanne into texts that are solid enough for the coming days.”
 
“If we need to have a couple of additional days more, it's not the end of the world. But it is very clear that the deadline is going to stay end of June / beginning of July.”
 
“So no extension. We all agreed on that.”
 
“We don't have new points open on the agenda. We are not renegotiating things.”
— June 28, 2015, according to the press
 
France 
 
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius 
 
France wants a deal but wants the deal to be robust, a good deal, but not a bad dealA certain number of statements do not seem to go in that direction. France reaffirms that it wants a solid accord, but at the same time must stress the firmness of its positions. 
—June 24, 2015 in a press conference with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir via Reuters 
 
 
"What we want is a robust deal that recognizes Iran's right to civil nuclear power, but guarantees that Iran gives up definitively the nuclear weapon."
 
"For this there are three indispensable conditions: a lasting limitation of Iran's research and development capacity, a rigorous inspection of sites, including military if needed, and the third condition is the automatic return of sanctions in case it violates its commitments."
— June 27, 2015, according to the press
 
Russia 
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov 
 
Some complex issues remain but there are fewer of them than a week ago. 
The number of issues left to be resolved “can be counted on one hand.” 
—June 19, 2015 to RIA-Novosti via AFP 

Germany 
 
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier  
 
"In my view [an agreement] is possible, but it requires that Iran continue talks constructively and not to pursue a different path." 
"It is important to end this 10-year crisis." 
—June 22, 2015, according to the press


 

Iran Parliament Passes Bill on Nuclear Deal

On June 23, Iran’s parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill stipulating several conditions for a nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers. The legislation, intended to safeguard Iran’s nuclear achievements, received 213 votes in favor, 10 against and six abstentions.

 

The powerful Guardian Council, composed of legal experts and Islamic jurists, debated the bill the next day. A majority of its 12 members, ruled that the legislation complied with the constitution.
 
The following are key points of the legislation as reported by Iranian media:
 
·  A deal would only be acceptable to Iran if all sanctions are lifted on the same day a deal takes effect.
·  The International Atomic Energy Agency should only be allowed to conduct “standard monitoring activities” in accordance with the framework of safeguards agreement.
·  Access to military, security or other sensitive non-nuclear facilities as well nuclear scientists should be off limits to inspectors.
·  Restrictions on nuclear research and development for peaceful purposes should not be restricted.
·  Any final nuclear agreement with the world’s six major powers would only be valid it complies with the requirements of the bill.
 
Click here for more information on Iran's parliament.
 
 

Senate Hearing: Key Elements of Nuke Deal

On June 25, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing to evaluate the major components of a potential comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. Three security experts provided testimony on criteria for evaluating a final deal, minimum requirements for an agreement, and future challenges. The following are excerpts from the witnesses’ remarks.

David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security
 
“The U.S. administration and its partners in the P5+1 are poised to conclude a momentous agreement with Iran designed to limit its nuclear programs in exchange for significant sanctions relief. Congress has a special responsibility to evaluate this agreement and judge its adequacy to protect U.S. national security interests in the short and long term. As part of this process, it should create legislation to codify the agreement, its implementation processes, critical interpretations of the agreement, reporting requirements, clarifications about violations and consequences of non-compliance, and steps needed to mitigate weaknesses in the agreement.
 
 The legislative branch must determine if the agreement is adequate to achieve the goal it originally set out to achieve – namely instituting international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programs, not just for the duration of the accord, but for the foreseeable future. Special attention should be given to an agreement whose nuclear limits sunset after 10-15 years, potentially leaving the world with an even more insecure and heightened situation in Iran in terms of a greatly reduced Iranian breakout timeline, and more advanced centrifuges spinning and capable of creating weapon-grade uranium (WGU) within shorter periods of time.
 
The United States and its allies cannot be certain about their ability to rely mainly on intelligence after the extraordinary arrangements in an agreement end, long after sanctions are removed, and Iran has more freedom to augment its nuclear program. Iran’s regional neighbors would likely not wait to develop their own threshold nuclear capability in the face of an Iran that only a decade or two from now would be on the cusp of rapid breakout, capable of producing many nuclear weapons and within a shorter time period than it is today. Thus, Congress needs to proactively consider the implications of this deal for an “enrichment race” in the Middle East that could lead several countries to nuclear weapons capabilities in the next 10-15 years.
 
Congress should evaluate the technical limits and verification measures set out in the deal to ensure they adequately constrain Iran’s nuclear activities and capabilities and its ability to violate the agreement. In particular, the verification arrangements should ensure the reaching of an understanding about past and possibly on-going Iranian work on nuclear weapons and ensure prompt access to any Iranian sites, whether military or civilian. Enforcement will require maintaining leverage against Iran if it cheats, yet reliance on a snapback of sanctions as the only leverage in the case of an Iranian breakout appears deeply ineffective to pressure Iran to reverse course. In addition, the deal needs to be carefully scrutinized in how it guards against 2 incremental and more ambiguous violations and set out procedures to address this type of cheating.”
 
Click here to read more
 
Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations
 
“In the near future, the Obama Administration is likely to transact a deficient nuclear agreement with Iran. The parameters of the accord that have already been publicized should give all cause for concern. The agreement is permissive in terms of the technologies that it allows. The sunset clause ensures that after a passage of time Iran can build an industrial-sized nuclear infrastructure. Its much touted inspection regime relies on the leaky confines of the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT). During the process of negotiations, Iran has cleverly sustained its essential redlines while the United States has systematically abandoned the sensible prohibitions that have long guided its policy toward this important security challenge.”
 
“The success of any arms control agreement hinges on whether it can permanently arrest the momentum toward proliferation of dangerous technologies. It may also be hoped that such an accord will inject a measure of responsibility in impetuous leaders and perhaps empower those prone to accede to international mandates. There is no indication that the contemplated deal with Iran will achieve any of these objectives. The impending agreement, whose duration is timelimited and sets the stage for the industrialization of Iran's enrichment capacity, places Tehran inches away from the bomb. Paradoxically such a state may yet be governed by hardline actors nursing their own hegemonic regional designs.”
 
Click here to read more
 
Jim Walsh, Research Associate, Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
“My summary judgment is inspections, PMDs, and breakout are all issues that policymakers will want to carefully consider. For the reasons described below, I judge that the risks posed by these challenges are real but manageable, and not in excess of what similar agreements with similar kinds of countries have been able to successfully navigate. I also judge that an agreement is likely to bolster the cause of nonproliferation, both in the region and globally.”
 
“A nuclear agreement with Iran, should it be concluded, could represent a pivotal moment for American nonproliferation policy, if not for the nuclear age. There are risks, as there are risks with inaction and with other policy alternatives. I cannot render a final judgment until seeing the provisions of the final agreement, but if an agreement is concluded along the lines of the framework described in April, this may well constitute one of the strongest multi-lateral nonproliferation agreements ever negotiated.”
 
“Even if that is true, however, it will mark the beginning, not the end. The real task ahead is locking Iran into a non-nuclear future such that it never again makes the decision to pursue nuclear weapons. That task will require the energetic efforts of both the Executive branch and the US Congress, and not least the Foreign Relations Committee.”
 
Click here to read more
 

Report: Iran's Human Rights Abuses

Iran's most significant human rights issue is the restriction of civil liberties, according to the State Department's 2014 Country Report on Human Rights Practices. The report also criticized Iran's government for a wide range of human rights abuses, including cruel punishments, poor prison conditions, lack of due process, and corruption. "Impunity remained pervasive throughout all levels of the government and security forces," the report noted.

On June 25, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski emphasized that human rights issues are a "separate concern" from the nuclear issue. But he noted that even if Iran and the world's six major powers reach a nuclear deal, human rights-related sanctions will remain in place. "Regardless of the outcome of the Iran talks, we are going to continue to speak up and stand out and stand up for human rights in Iran," he said.

The following are excerpts from the full report and Malinowski's remarks.

Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Iran
 
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic republic with a constitution that created a political system based on the concept in Shia Islam of velayat-e faqih (“guardianship of the jurist” or “rule by the jurisprudent”). Shia clergy--most notably the “supreme jurisprudent” (or supreme leader) and political leaders vetted by the clergy--dominated key power structures. While mechanisms for popular election existed within the structure of the state, the supreme leader held significant influence over the legislative and executive branches of government (through various unelected councils under his authority) and held constitutional authority over the judiciary, the state-run media, and the armed forces. The supreme leader also indirectly controlled the internal security forces and other key institutions. Since 1989, the supreme leader has been Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In June 2013 Hassan Rouhani won the election for president with more than 50 percent of the vote. Despite high popular participation in the election following open debates, candidate vetting by unelected bodies based on arbitrary criteria, as well as restrictions on the media, limited the freedom and fairness of the election. Authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.
 
The most significant human rights problems were severe restrictions on civil liberties, including the freedoms of assembly, speech, religion, and press; limitations on the citizens’ ability to change the government peacefully through free and fair elections; and disregard for the physical integrity of persons, whom authorities arbitrarily and unlawfully detained, tortured, or killed.
 
Other reported human rights problems included: disappearances; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including judicially sanctioned amputation and flogging; politically motivated violence and repression; harsh and life-threatening conditions in detention and prison facilities, with instances of deaths in custody; arbitrary arrest and lengthy pretrial detention, sometimes incommunicado; continued impunity of the security forces; denial of fair public trial, sometimes resulting in executions without due process; the lack of an independent judiciary; political prisoners and detainees; ineffective implementation of civil judicial procedures and remedies; arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, and correspondence; severe restrictions on freedoms of speech (including via the internet) and press; harassment and arrest of journalists; censorship and media content restrictions; severe restrictions on academic freedom; severe restrictions on the freedoms of assembly and association; some restrictions on freedom of movement; official corruption and lack of government transparency; constraints on investigations by international and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) into alleged violations of human rights; legal and societal discrimination and violence against women, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity; incitement to anti-Semitism; trafficking in persons; and severe restrictions on the exercise of labor rights.
 
The government took few steps to investigate, prosecute, punish, or otherwise hold accountable officials, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government, who committed abuses. Impunity remained pervasive throughout all levels of the government and security forces.
 
Click here for the full report
 
Assistant Secretary Malinowski's remarks to the press
 
"On Iran – look, I mean, the nuclear talks – the purpose of the nuclear talks, as we have explained many, many times, is to deal with the nuclear issue.  It is not to deal with the human rights issue.  It’s a separate concern.  But we have made it absolutely clear that we – regardless of the outcome of the Iran talks, we are going to continue to speak up and stand out and stand up for human rights in Iran; that if any sanctions are lifted as a result of a nuclear deal, the human rights-related sanctions will remain in place.
 
"With respect to Iran, I can’t say that we have seen any meaningful improvement in the human rights situation in Iran, and if you read the reports and compare them to previous years’ reports, you will find the details of what we are concerned about.  And it involves, obviously, widespread reports of torture; political imprisonment; repression against ethnic and religious minority communities; government harassment of journalists, bloggers, activists, and so forth. 
 
"On the dual citizens, we generally – and there’s not an absolute rule on this but we generally don’t mention American citizens by name when we mention them in this report.  We followed this year the same practice with respect to Amir Hekmati, to Pastor Abedini, and to Jason Rezaian – we followed the same practice as last year with the exception that Jason’s case is new this year – in the sense that we describe them; it’s absolutely clear that these are the cases that we describe, but we didn’t name them.
 
I think one reason for that is that the report cannot be a comprehensive listing of people, of individuals who are detained around the world under these circumstances.  So what we tried to do is to us the stories of the cases to illustrate a larger human rights problems.  And so that really is the main point of naming them in the first place, to talk about the pattern in Iran or others in other countries of detaining people unjustly for reporting stories or the peaceful exercise of their opinions."
 

Khamenei: Red Lines on Nuclear Deal

On June 23, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seemed to harden his stance on nuclear talks with the world’s six major powers. “All economic, financial and banking sanctions, either by the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Congress or [Obama] administration must be lifted on the same day a deal is signed,” he insisted in a speech on national television. The address came exactly a week before the deadline for a final agreement.

Khamenei issued seven specific red lines for the talks, some of which contradicted the White House fact sheet on the framework announced on April 2 by Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries —Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. For example, the supreme leader rejected long-term restrictions of 10 years or more on research and development. 



The supreme leader also reiterated his support for Iran’s negotiating team, led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, which has been under fire from hardliners. “I recognize our negotiators as trustworthy, committed, brave and faithful,” said Khamenei.
 
Secretary of State John Kerry, however, said Khamenei’s remarks would not affect the talks. “This is something that's been going on throughout the negotiations,” he said the next day. “It is not new. We are not going to be guided by or conditioned by or affected or deterred by some tweet that is for public consumption or domestic political consumption.”
 
The following are excerpted remarks from Khamenei's speech.
 
“While we were skeptical [of the Americans], we were ready to pay the price if the Americans kept their word because logical negotiations would have had consequences-- but shortly after the negotiations they started bringing excuses.”
 
“During the negotiations, the Americans promised 6 months [for lifting sanctions] but then they changed it to one year, and then by asking too much , they prolonged the negotiations and even spoke of more sanctions and military action.”
 
“We have said from the beginning that we want the cruel sanctions to be removed, and of course in return, we are willing to give concessions on the condition that our nuclear industry is not halted.”
 
 
“None of the nuclear powers sold us the 20 percent [enriched] fuel for medical purposes, and they even prevented others to sell the fuel to us. However, our young scientists produced the fuel rods and checkmated the other side. In addition to [production of ] the fuel, we had other achievements as well; in fact our resistance strategy worked, and the Americans concluded that sanctions don't have satisfactory results, and that they would have to find another solution.”
 
“They say the Agency [IAEA] has to be certain; what nonsense this is. How can they be certain? Only by inspecting every ‘inch’ of this country.”

 

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