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Monday, June 20, 2016

Khamenei on Negotiations with US

Khamenei on Negotiations with US

by Ellie Geranmayeh
On Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a significant speech that categorically ruled out negotiations with the United States beyond nuclear issues. The anti-US rhetoric itself was unsurprising given that the speech marked the 27th anniversary of the death of Iran’s first supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. But the content of the speech, an important reflection of how Khamenei is taking stock in the aftermath of the nuclear deal, explicitly underscored three aspects of Iran’s foreign policy trajectory.
First, Khamenei harshly reiterated that, although Iran had fulfilled its obligations under the nuclear deal, the US was “disloyal” in keeping its end of the bargain. This reflects a growing sentiment within the Iranian leadership that, although sanctions have been eased in accordance with the nuclear deal, the psychological fear of US Treasury enforcement continues to linger over international financial institutions and the US has not made its best effort to remove barriers to doing legitimate business with Iran.
More relevant to this part of the speech is what the Supreme Leader did not say. Although Khamenei scorned the United States, at no point did he suggest that Iran should take counter-measures with respect to its implementation of the nuclear deal. Despite its grievances with the United States, Iran will continue fulfill its obligations vis-à-vis the P5+1, as consistently confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency since January.

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