Post nukes deal: U.S and Iran fall-out already

WASHINGTON – The United States said on Tuesday it was very disturbed by anti-U.S. hostility voiced by Iran’s top leader after a nuclear deal, as both countries’ top diplomats sought to calm opposition to the accord from political hardliners at home.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a statement about the recently concluded round of negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program at the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program was “very troubling”.

“I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy,” he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

“But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were “180 degrees” opposed to Iran’s, in a Tehran speech punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

Under the accord reached in Vienna last week, Iran will be subjected to long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West suspected was aimed at creating an atomic bomb but which Tehran says is peaceful. In return U.S., European Union and U.N. sanctions on Iran will be lifted. The deal was signed by the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

It was a major policy achievement for both U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran’s pragmatic elected President Hassan Rouhani. But both leaders have to sell it at home to powerful hardliners in countries that have been enemies for decades, referring to each other as the “Great Satan” and a member of the “Axis of Evil”.

In the case of Iran, the deal must win final approval from the National Security Council and ultimately Khamenei, who has so far withheld final judgment while saying the text must still be scrutinized.

In the United States, Republicans who control Congress have lined up against the deal, but Obama says he will veto any congressional objection.

Kerry also has the task of selling the agreement to skeptical U.S. allies in the region. Israel is implacably opposed, and Sunni Muslim-ruled Arab allies of the United States, such as Saudi Arabia, are suspicious of an arrangement that would benefit their rival, Shi’ite, non-Arab Iran.

Kerry said the deal would improve regional security by preventing Iran from seeking atomic weapons.

“The agreement gets rid of the nuclear weapon potential. But if we do the right things … then I believe the Gulf states and the region can feel much more secure than they do today,” he said.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister who developed a warm rapport with Kerry during weeks of unprecedented face-to-face talks, defended the deal in Iran’s hardliner-dominated parliament. He said most of Iran’s conditions had been met, including so-called “red lines” set by Khamenei.

“We don’t say the deal is totally in favor of Iran. Any negotiation is a give and take. We have definitely shown some flexibility,” the foreign minister said. “I tell you as I told the Supreme Leader, we did our best to preserve most of the red lines, if not all.”


Khamenei’s own response to the deal has been ambiguous: he has thanked the negotiating team but has not given the accord an explicit endorsement. Supporting the negotiators was a political risk and by avoiding overt approval of the final deal he can avert criticism if it falls apart.

At the same time, his criticism has not been so severe as to torpedo the deal and block a lifting of sanctions, which ordinary Iranians are desperate to see.

Nevertheless, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and other hardliners have started to attack the deal directly, criticizing a U.N. Security Council resolution passed on Monday endorsing it.

They may be trying to persuade Khamenei to block the deal by presenting it as having violated “red lines” he set, particularly provisions that leave in place an arms embargo and restrictions on Iran’s missile program.

Zarif told lawmakers the U.N. resolution restricted only development of missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads, and this would not affect Iran’s missile program as Iran does not have nuclear weapons.

Revolutionary Guard chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Monday, according to Tasnim news agency: “Some parts of the (resolution) draft have clearly crossed the Islamic republic’s red lines, especially towards Iran’s military capabilities.”

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Khamenei on foreign affairs, broke a long silence on Tuesday and said the deal was “not without flaws”, although he did not reject it outright.

“No one can tell us which weapons we can have…. Except nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, Iran will continue making all the missiles, fighter jets, anti-missile defense systems, tanks and other armored equipment it needs,” he was quoted as saying on the Supreme Leader’s website.


The prospect that sanctions will be lifted is spurring businesses to make plans to return to Iran.

In Paris, Laurent Fabius, who will make the first trip to Iran by a French foreign minister in 12 years, said France’s hard line towards Tehran at the nuclear negotiations would not hurt its businesses after sanctions are lifted.

Despite a long history of commercial, political and social links with Iran France took one of the hardest lines of the six powers negotiating the accord.

“It’s true that France was very firm,” Fabius told France Inter radio. “Will French firms be penalized? My answer is no because in the past we had an important presence in Iran. Our (expertise) is excellent in a lot of fields and the Iranians are serious. You know in foreign policy, I think you lose nothing in being respected.”

French firms such as carmaker Puegeot (PEUP.PA) and oil major Total (TOTF.PA) had leading positions in the Iranian market before the United States and European Union imposed tighter sanctions in 2011.

Related Posts
As Robert Mugabe beggs China for vote-buying rice, Kenya receives locomotives for China-funded railway
MOMBASA, Kenya, (Xinhua) -- Kenya has received six locomotives from China, which will run on a China-funded standard gauge railway (SGR) due to start trial operation in June.   A ceremony was ...
Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends the plenary session of the Africa-South America Summit on Margarita Island,  file.  REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo
The eight-year-old son of Gambia's President-elect Adama Barrow has died on the way to hospital after he was attacked by a dog in the town of Manjai, not far from ...
South Africa watchdog calls for probe on influence peddling in Zuma’s govt
PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa's anti-graft watchdog called for a judge to investigate allegations of influence peddling in President Jacob Zuma's government, in a report released on Wednesday as thousands ...
Tight security ahead of Malema’s case
Pretoria - Scores of police officers were milling outside the High Court in Pretoria on Monday morning ahead of EFF leader Julius Malema’s tax case.  The court is set to hear ...
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) tal...MOSCOW, RUSSIAN FEDERATION:  Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) talks to Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad during their meeting in Moscow, 25 January 2005. The Syrian leader arrived in Moscow on a four-day state visit overshadowed by furious Israeli protests over reported contracts for Russian missiles that would erode the Jewish state's military superiority over its arch-foe Damascus. AFP PHOTO / ITAR-TASS  (Photo credit should read SERGEI ZHUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Moscow on Tuesday evening to personally thank Russia's Vladimir Putin for his military support, in a surprise visit that underlined how Russia ...
‘Osama Bin Laden still alive’ – Snowden
Does it seem unreal to think that Osama bin Laden is still alive and well? Well, former CIA employee, Edward Snowden seems to think so and he says he has ...
Combat “torrent” of misery in world, pope says in New Year message
Pope Francis, in his first message of the new year, on Friday urged people to combat the"torrent" of misery, injustice and violence in the world by overcoming all indifference to ...
U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro leave after a news conference as part of Obama's three-day visit to Cuba, in Havana March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
HAVANA - U.S. President Barack Obama pushed Cuba to improve human rights during his historic visit to the Communist-led island on Monday, publicly sparring with President Raul Castro who showed ...
Ghana opposition leader wins presidential election, radio stations say
ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, has won the west African country's presidential election with an absolute majority over President John Mahama, two influential private radio stations ...
Namibian VP collapsed due to hunger – reports
Gaborone - Namibian Vice-President Nickey Iyambo allegedly collapsed and fainted on Saturday after going for hours without eating anything, local media has reported. Quoting a story sourced from the government-owned Namibian ...
As Robert Mugabe beggs China for vote-buying rice,
Son of Gambia’s President-elected mauled to death by
South Africa watchdog calls for probe on influence
Tight security ahead of Malema’s case
Syria’s Assad flies to Moscow to thank Russia’s
‘Osama Bin Laden still alive’ – Snowden
Combat “torrent” of misery in world, pope says
History in Havana, despite differences
Ghana opposition leader wins presidential election, radio stations
Namibian VP collapsed due to hunger – reports

Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Jennifer Lopez coyly addresses Drake relationship amid romance rumours

20th January 2017 Staff Reporter 0

Jennifer Lopez claims her relationship with rapper Drake is strictly professional. In a new interview, the Shades Of Blue actress avoided questions about their rumoured romance and instead, confirmed they have collaborated on a new […]

Arts & Entertainment

Paris Jackson ‘wants to vomit’ seeing white actor as ‘King of Pop’

12th January 2017 Staff Reporter 0

Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris says she is “incredibly offended” by a new comic film in which a white British actor, Joseph Fiennes, portrays the late “King of Pop.” Paris Jackson, 18, also called the tongue-in-cheek […]