Khamenei says talks with US are ‘lethal poison’ to Iran

Iran’s leader says Washington has failed to live up to nuclear deal promises, proving that it cannot be trusted

iran

By Times of Israel staff and AFP August 2, 2016, 2:05 am 0

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking at a meeting in Tehran, November 1, 2015. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

 Amid growing Iranian complaints that world powers have failed to live up to their obligations under the nuclear accord with Tehran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that dialogue with the US had proven to be “a lethal poison,” as Washington had shown that it could not be trusted.

“They want us to negotiate with them on the regional issues but the nuclear deal experience tells us that this is a lethal poison,” he said in a speech in Tehran.

“The Americans want to take everything in return for nothing,” the Fars news agency quoted the leader as saying. “Negotiations with such a government mean diversion from the correct path of the country’s progress, making repeated concessions and bearing their bullying, violations and disloyalty in practice.”

Khamenei said that six months after the implementation of the deal, it had not prompted any tangible change in Iranians’ lives.

The deal reached on July 14, 2015 saw the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia agree to lift some international sanctions in exchange for guarantees that Iran would not pursue nuclear weapons.

Jubilant Iranians dreamt of an end to isolation and economic hardship, but critics say US obstacles have soured those hopes.

Even after the accord took effect in January, the US maintained primary sanctions linked to Iran’s human rights record and ballistic missile testing — blocking Tehran from dollar transactions and leaving banks worried they could still be prosecuted for doing business with the country, despite repeated assurances from Washington that they will not.

Oil production has soared back almost to pre-sanctions levels, but Rouhani’s hopes of attracting $30-$50 billion in foreign investment each year increasingly look like wishful thinking.

Hardliners in Iran have been having a field day with the meagre results, using the media to press home a narrative that the nuclear deal will not benefit ordinary citizens.

Khamenei said the deal “proved again the fruitlessness of negotiations with the Americans, their disloyalty and the necessity for distrusting the US promises and showed that the way for the country’s progress and improving people’s living conditions is paying attention to the domestic potentials and not the enemies.

“We said two years ago that the nation will see the nuclear talks as an experience to see what the Americans would do in practice and now it has become clear that they are still busy with plots and destructive measures,” he said.

Khamenei also touched on Turkey’s recent failed coup, claiming that Washington was behind the attempted putsch.

“There is a strong accusation that the coup was staged by the Americans’ measures and preparations and if this issue is proved, it will be a big scandal for the US,” he said. “The Americans are opposed to Islam and Islamic tendencies and therefore, they (staged the coup) in Turkey where there are Islamic tendencies.”

Earlier Monday Khamenei tweeted his anger at the recent apparent strengthening of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

He harshly criticized the recent meetings between Israel and Saudi officials as an attack on Islam.

“Revelation of Saudi government’s relations with Zionist regime was stab in the back of Islamic Ummah,” he tweeted. The term “ummah” literally means “community,” and refers to the entire Islamic world, linking Shiite Iran with the Saudi Sunni regime.

He went on to accuse the Saudis of a multitude of crimes in Yemen, tweeting, “Aggression on #Yemen & nonstop bombing of ‘houses, hospitals & schools’ & continuous infanticide are other big crimes of Saudi government.”

Riyadh, he claimed, was doing the bidding of the US: “Today, #Saudi government is in hands of unwise people, but close scrutiny shows US hands are behind all these issues.”

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