Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated on Thursday that the tentative agreement on Tehran’s nuclear programme is no guarantee.
Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s most powerful figure, has made his first comments on the provisional deal reached last week in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
“I neither support nor oppose the deal. Everything is in the details, it may be that the deceptive other side wants to restrict us in the details,” Khamenei said in a statement. “What has been done so far does not guarantee an agreement, nor its contents, nor even that the negotiations will continue to the end,” he said.
Last week, Tehran and the six powers approved the structure of an agreement which would be finalised by the end of June. In return, UN sanctions and separate measures imposed independently by the US and EU will be lifted.
Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, imitated Khamenei’s demand for the immediate lifting of sanctions if the extensive agreement was assured. “We will not sign any agreements unless, on the first day of the implementation of the deal, all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the same day,” Rouhani said.
The US State Department repeated its position on Thursday, stating that sanctions against Iran would be removed gradually.
“Under the agreed upon parameters, sanctions will be suspended in a phased manner upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said.
The provisional agreement was a step forward in terms of a settlement that would decrease fears that Iran could build an atomic bomb.
Negotiators from Iran, the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China will resume talks in the coming days to pave the way for a final deal. – Kayla Burke
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