Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei dampens nuclear deal expectations

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei dampens nuclear deal expectations
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that he is "neither for nor against" the nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 and attacks the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen.
2 min read
09 April, 2015
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the Iranian Supreme Leader (Getty)

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dampened expectations on Thursday over the nuclear deal framework accord agreed last week by Iran and world powers, saying that he was “neither for not against” the accord, and that nothing had been agreed upon.

“What has been done so far does not guarantee an agreement, nor its contents, nor even that the negotiations will continue to the end,” said Khamenei, who has the final say in both political and religious matters in Iran, according to his official website.

Iranians had celebrated the results of the Lausanne negotiations on April 2, when Iran and the P5+1 (USA, UK, China, France and Russia) agreed to finalise a deal by the end of June. The deal appears to centre on Iran reining back its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions that have crippled Iran.

Hardliners on both sides are uneasy about the deal, with Republicans in the United States accusing president Barack Obama of “appeasing” Iran. On the Iranian side, there is a mistrust of the West, and especially the United States, and also a fear that Iran could be weakening itself by scaling down its nuclear programme.

In his statement, Khamenei appeared keen to stress that a conclusion had not been reached.

“Everything is in the detail, it may be that the other side, which is unfair, wants to limit our country in the details,” Khamenei said.

“Officials say that nothing has been done yet and there is nothing binding. I am neither for nor against,” he added.

Khamenei also stressed that Iran's nuclear programme was important for Iran's future development.

“The nuclear industry is a necessity, for energy production, for desalination, and in the fields of medicine, agriculture and other sectors,” he said.

Khamenei also commented on the war in Yemen, denouncing Saudi-led airstrikes that began on March 26 as “criminal acts”.

The airstrikes have targeted the pro-Iranian Houthi militia, as well as units of the Yemeni military allied to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“This move is not acceptable in the region and I would warn that they must stop these criminal acts in Yemen,” Khamenei said.