by Dish Staff
The Supreme Leader has always been pessimistic about the negotiations between Tehran and Washington, but in a statement yesterday, he called them “useless”:
Speaking to Foreign Ministry officials, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised Iranian negotiators who have conducted the talks with the United States and five other world powers, and he did not call for abandoning them. But he appeared to give succor to Iranian hard-liners who are adamantly opposed to discussions that could lead to a scaling back of Iran’s nuclear program, which they insist is intended for peaceful purposes only. The remarks came two days after President Hassan Rouhani stirred controversy in Iran by calling opponents of the talks “cowards” and telling them to go to hell. Rouhani, considered a moderate, has been pushing for an agreement that would end the crippling economic sanctions against Iran. Khamenei has consistently been far more skeptical about the talks.
Reza Haghighatnejad highlights the apparent split between Khamenei and Rouhani:
In sharp contrast with Khamenei’s address earlier today, Rouhani has talked about the impact of eased sanctions, the practicalities of working with the U.S. to combat Islamic State insurgents in Iraq, the greater opportunities to tackle world issues. It’s not only the nuclear program that the world needs to talk about, Rouhani’s camp suggests, and last year’s historic phone call between Rouhani and U.S. president Barack Obama was a symbol Western media–and Rouhani—gladly embraced. Rouhani has even sought out public opinion within Iran, commissioning a poll earlier this year to identify just what the ordinary Iranian public thought about increased contact with the West.