Iran's Supreme Leader rejects key provisions of nuke deal

First, the Iranian parliament weighed in on the proposed nuclear deal with the west, rejecting the idea of inspections of military sites and demanding that sanctions on Iran be lifted immediately. The US and western powers say they must have access to any "suspicious" site and want sanctions lifted over several years.

Now Irani's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a statement going even farther than paliament in rejecting key provisions of the nuclear deal.

Associated Press:

Speaking Tuesday night in comments broadcast on Iranian state television, Khamenei called demands Iran halt the research and development portion of its nuclear program "excessive coercion."

"We don't accept 10-year restriction. We have told the negotiating team how many specific years of restrictions are acceptable," Khamenei said. "Research and development must continue during the years of restrictions."

Khamenei accused the U.S. of offering a "complicated formula" for lifting sanctions. He added waiting for the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency to verify its cooperation would take too long.

"Lifting sanctions can't depend on implementation of Iran's obligations," he said.

Khamenei also said he rejects any inspection of military sites or allowing its scientists to be interviewed. Iran's nuclear scientists have been the targets of attacks before both inside the Islamic Republic and elsewhere.

The U.S.' "goal is to uproot and destroy the country's nuclear industry," he said. "They want to keep up the pressure and are not after a complete lifting of sanctions."

In a statement Sunday, the U.S. State Department said inspections remain a key part of any final deal.

Khamenei is getting pushback from what the press refers to as "hardliners" in the upper echelons of the clergy, many of whom don't think Iran should even be talking to the US. But this statement could also be a ploy to see just how far President Obama is willing to grovel to achieve a nuclear deal. Just about every talking point the president is using to sell the deal is directly and forcefully contradicted by Khamenei in this statement. Any deal at this point would have to either accept the Iranian positions in total, or massage some language to make it appear that the US hasn't totally caved in to Iranian demands.

I'll bet on the latter. What we are likely to end up with is a nebulously phrased agreement that both sides will be able to interpret the way they wish - which is exactly what happened with the framework deal agreed to in April. It was almost comical to listen to the two sides give their radically different interpretations of the same issues. 

The confusion will be to Iran's advantage, as the rest of the world could lift sanctions even if the US doesn't. Iran could upgrade their nuclear technology even though the US will claim they can't. The IAEA will be royally confused because no one will have a definitive interpretation of the deal, so any "violations" they find will be challenged by Iran.

And there will be no "snapping back" of sanctions. That was always a bogus claim and no one ever took it seriously. 

Khamenei is pushing Obama to the wall on this deal and it's crystal clear who has the strength to impose their will on the other.

First, the Iranian parliament weighed in on the proposed nuclear deal with the west, rejecting the idea of inspections of military sites and demanding that sanctions on Iran be lifted immediately. The US and western powers say they must have access to any "suspicious" site and want sanctions lifted over several years.

Now Irani's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a statement going even farther than paliament in rejecting key provisions of the nuclear deal.

Associated Press:

Speaking Tuesday night in comments broadcast on Iranian state television, Khamenei called demands Iran halt the research and development portion of its nuclear program "excessive coercion."

"We don't accept 10-year restriction. We have told the negotiating team how many specific years of restrictions are acceptable," Khamenei said. "Research and development must continue during the years of restrictions."

Khamenei accused the U.S. of offering a "complicated formula" for lifting sanctions. He added waiting for the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency to verify its cooperation would take too long.

"Lifting sanctions can't depend on implementation of Iran's obligations," he said.

Khamenei also said he rejects any inspection of military sites or allowing its scientists to be interviewed. Iran's nuclear scientists have been the targets of attacks before both inside the Islamic Republic and elsewhere.

The U.S.' "goal is to uproot and destroy the country's nuclear industry," he said. "They want to keep up the pressure and are not after a complete lifting of sanctions."

In a statement Sunday, the U.S. State Department said inspections remain a key part of any final deal.

Khamenei is getting pushback from what the press refers to as "hardliners" in the upper echelons of the clergy, many of whom don't think Iran should even be talking to the US. But this statement could also be a ploy to see just how far President Obama is willing to grovel to achieve a nuclear deal. Just about every talking point the president is using to sell the deal is directly and forcefully contradicted by Khamenei in this statement. Any deal at this point would have to either accept the Iranian positions in total, or massage some language to make it appear that the US hasn't totally caved in to Iranian demands.

I'll bet on the latter. What we are likely to end up with is a nebulously phrased agreement that both sides will be able to interpret the way they wish - which is exactly what happened with the framework deal agreed to in April. It was almost comical to listen to the two sides give their radically different interpretations of the same issues. 

The confusion will be to Iran's advantage, as the rest of the world could lift sanctions even if the US doesn't. Iran could upgrade their nuclear technology even though the US will claim they can't. The IAEA will be royally confused because no one will have a definitive interpretation of the deal, so any "violations" they find will be challenged by Iran.

And there will be no "snapping back" of sanctions. That was always a bogus claim and no one ever took it seriously. 

Khamenei is pushing Obama to the wall on this deal and it's crystal clear who has the strength to impose their will on the other.