The Office of the Supreme Leader

Leader's remarks on anti-Iran sanctions

Iran’s Leader calls for the lifting of all anti-Tehran sanctions

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a meeting on Thursday with a group of women, poets and eulogists writing poems in praise of the Household of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), extended his congratulations on the birthday of Hazrat Fatima (the beloved daughter of the Prophet Mohammad) and made very significant remarks about nuclear talks and the developments in Yemen.
Ayatollah Khamenei started his remarks by saying: “Some are asking why the Leader has not taken any stance with regard to the recent nuclear negotiations.”
“The reason for the Leader’s refusal to take a stance is that there is no ground for taking a position because the country’s officials and nuclear officials say nothing has yet been done and no binding topic has so far been brought up between the two sides,” he said
“Such a situation does not need taking a position,” he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “If I am asked ‘Do you agree or disagree with the recent nuclear talks?’ I would say I neither agree nor disagree because nothing has happened yet.”
He added: “All problems arise from the point the details would be discussed because the opposite side is obstinate, unreliable, dishonest and into backstabbing, and may put constraints on the country, nation and negotiators throughout discussions about details.”
“What has hitherto happened guarantees neither an agreement itself, nor negotiations leading to an agreement, nor the content of an agreement. It does not even guarantee that these talks would end in an agreement. Therefore, extending congratulations [on this issue] is pointless.”
Ayatollah Khamenei went on to say: “I’ve never been optimistic about negotiations with the US and that is not because of an illusion, but because of experience in that regard.”
“If in the future, the details of issues, events and notes regarding ongoing nuclear talks are released, everyone will see where this experience of ours stems from,” he said.
He said: “Although I was not optimistic about negotiations with the US, I supported the talks in this case wholeheartedly and I continue to support [them].”
“I [will] support one hundred percent an agreement that would guarantee the dignity of the Iranian nation and if someone says the Leader is opposed to the conclusion of an agreement, he is making untrue remarks,” he added.  
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that he completely approves of an agreement that would guarantee the interests of the nation and the country, saying: “Of course, I have said that ‘not reaching an agreement is better than a bad agreement’ because not accepting an agreement that would trample upon the interests of the Iranian nation and deny the nation its dignity would be preferred to [accepting] an agreement that would humiliate the Iranian nation.”
The supreme leader then made one point clear, saying: “Sometimes it is said that the details of these negotiations are under the supervision of the Leader, but that remark is not accurate.”
“I am not indifferent to these negotiations, but I have not interfered in the details of the talks so far and I will not do so from now onwards either,” he added.  
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “I have notified mainly the president and in a few cases the foreign minister of  [our] main policies, frameworks and redlines, but the details are in their hands.”
“I trust the nuclear negotiators and I have not been doubtful of them so far and God willing, that would be so in the future, too. But I am seriously concerned over the nuclear talks,” he added.  
Ayatollah Khamenei said his preoccupation with the talks stems from the fact that the opposite side is into deception, telling lies, breaking promises and moving in the wrong direction. “An example of such behavior by the opposite side could be seen in the recent talks and some two hours after the end of the negotiations, the White House released a statement in several pages, which was untrue in most cases.”  
He added: “It is not possible to draw up such a statement in two hours. Therefore, [one could conclude that] they were drafting a distorted and erroneous statement contrary to the content of the negotiations while they were in talks with us.”
The supreme leader emphasized that the opposite side has a record of dishonesty and trickery. “Another instance is that after each round of talks, they make remarks in public and then they say in private that these remarks were only for saving their faces inside [their countries] and countering opponents while we have nothing to do with these issues.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Based on the famous proverb ‘Every madman thinks all other men mad’, they say that any possible opposition by the Leader to the negotiations is not realistic and is just for domestic face-saving. But the point is that they are not aware of Iran’s internal realities.”
“The Leader’s remarks [addressed] to people are based on mutual trust and as people trust me, I fully trust the people and I am convinced that God is with these people,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
“People braving the cold [to attend rallies] on the 22nd of Bahman (Feb 11 marking the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution), and [their presence] in Quds Day [anti-Israeli] rallies in the hot weather of the [fasting month of] Ramadan, are all signs of God’s hand and based on this we fully trust people and our remarks to them are within the framework of this feeling as well as their honesty and prudence,” he added.  
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “I am concerned with the behavior of the opposite side as the negotiations will continue.”
Referring to some viewpoints for and against the nuclear talks, he said: “There should be no exaggeration and haste, but we have to wait and see what would happen.”
Ayatollah Khamenei called on officials to keep people and particularly the elite abreast of the details of the negotiations and apprise them of the realities because there is nothing confidential.
He said that keeping people and the elite informed of the details of the nuclear talks is a manifestation of empathy between officials and people. “Empathy is not a directive, but and it should be developed and promoted. The current circumstances are a good chance for the development of empathy with people.”
Ayatollah Khamenei offered a proposal to officials, saying: “The officials who are honest and devoted to national interests should invite prominent critics of the negotiations and speak with them. If there is any point in their views that could help push the negotiations they should benefit from it. If not, they should convince them.”
“This is a manifestation of empathy and harmony in hearts and deeds,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Officials may say there is not enough time to hear critics because [only] three months are left until a deadline for reaching an agreement. In response to them, one should say that this 3-month deadline is not something that cannot be changed, and there will be no problem if this deadline is extended, as the opposite side extended [the talks] for seven months in one stance.”
The supreme leader once again noted that the negotiations with the Americans are merely on the nuclear issue and nothing else. “Of course, the negotiations on the nuclear issue are an experience. If the opposite side gives up its misconduct, we can continue this experience in other issues, but if the opposite side continues its misconduct, our previous impression regarding a lack of trust in the US will be strengthened.”  
Ayatollah Khamenei complained about the position adopted by some people who consider the international community as the opposite side in the nuclear talks, saying: “The Iranian nation’s opposite side that reneges on its promises is the US and three European countries and not the international community. The international community comprises the 150 countries whose presidents and senior representatives participated in the Non-Aligned Movement’s summit in Tehran several years ago and it is baseless to say that we should win the trust of the international community as the opposite party.”  
The Leader then referred to his instructions to officials in his private meetings on the nuclear issue. “I insist that the officials consider the present nuclear achievements as very important and do not underestimate and undervalue them.”
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the nuclear industry is a must for the country, saying: “Some pseudo-intellectuals ask ‘Why do we need the nuclear industry?’. That’s deception.”
He referred to the country’s need for advanced nuclear industry in the fields of energy, production of radiopharmaceuticals, desalination and agriculture, saying: “The most significant specification of the country’s nuclear industry is that achieving this very important industry is the result of the development of intrinsic talents of Iranian youth. Therefore, progress in the nuclear industry should continue.”
The supreme leader referred to allegations by several criminal countries like the US, which has already used A-bombs, or France, which has conducted dangerous nuclear tests, and said: “They accuse us of attempting to develop atomic bombs, while Iran’s Islamic establishment, based on the Sharia Law and logic, has never been seeking to build nuclear weapons and will never be, and considers them as a hassle.”
Ayatollah Khamenei urged the officials not to trust the opposite side and said: “Recently, one of the authorities clearly said that we don’t trust the opposite side. Such stances are good.”
Noting that the Iranian negotiators should not be fooled by the smiles of the opposite side and trust them, the Leader said: “A clear example of this is the stances and remarks by the US president following the recent statement.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said he has also asked the Iranian negotiators to demand the removal of sanctions all at once. “This issue is very important and the sanctions should be annulled the same day an agreement [would come into force].”
“If the lifting of sanctions is supposed to be linked to a new procedure, the talks will be meaningless in principle because the objective of the negotiations is to get the sanctions lifted,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said he also discussed the issue of inspections with the negotiators. “Absolutely, [they] should not be allowed to infiltrate the country’s security and defense sector under the pretext of monitoring, and the country’s military officials are by no means allowed to let foreigners into this sector under the pretext of monitoring and inspection, or to halt the country’s development in the defense sector.”
“It is necessary that the country’s defense capabilities and the nation’s strong fist in the military field remain strong and become stronger day by day. Moreover, during the talks, our support for our resistant brethren at different points should not falter.”
Regarding inspections of Iran’s nuclear program, the Leader said: “No unconventional method of inspection that would turn Iran into a specific case in terms of monitoring would be acceptable and the inspections should be within the boundaries of the very same conventional inspections carried out across the world, and nothing more.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also highlighted the necessity of continued technical development in Iran’s nuclear program.
“Scientific and technical development in different aspects should continue. Of course, the negotiating team may deem it necessary to accept some restrictions and we have no opposition in that regard, but technical development should definitely continue and go ahead in full force,” he said.
“It is up to the negotiators to meet these demands and they should explore and follow up on correct negotiation methods by benefiting from the views of well-informed and trustworthy individuals and the views of critics,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.  
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the ongoing events in Yemen and said: “By launching aggression on Yemen, the Saudis made a mistake and  set a bad precedent in the region.”
The Leader drew a parallel between the Saudi regime’s invasion of Yemen and the Zionists’ crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and highlighted two points regarding this issue.
He described the Saudi aggression against Yemen as a crime and genocide which could be prosecuted in international courts, saying: “The killing of children, destruction of houses and annihilation of the infrastructure and national wealth of a country constitute a big crime.”
“The Saudis will definitely suffer losses” in the aggression and “they will by no means emerge the winner,” he said.  
Ayatollah Khamenei predicted that the Saudis would lose in this war, saying: “The reason for this prediction is clear because the Zionists’ military capability was much higher than the Saudis’ and Gaza was a small zone; however, they (Zionists) failed. But Yemen is a vast country populated by tens of millions.”
“The Saudis will certainly suffer blows in this process and they will bite the dust,” he said.  
The supreme leader referred to the background of Saudis in foreign political issues, saying: “We have numerous differences with the Saudis on different political issues, but we always said that they show dignity and humbleness in foreign policy. However, a group of inexperienced youths have taken the helm of affairs in that country and are getting barbarism overcome dignity and pretention, and that will definitely be to their detriment.”
“This act in the region is not acceptable and I warn that they should give up this criminal act in Yemen,” said the supreme leader.  
Ayatollah Khamenei touched upon the US support for the Saudi government, saying: “This is the nature of the US to take sides with the oppressor in such cases instead of supporting the oppressed, but also in this case, they will suffer blows and will be defeated.”
Regarding allegations of Iran’s interference in Yemen, he said: “Their criminal warplanes have made Yemen’s sky insecure and, to justify their interference in Yemen, they invent idiotic pretexts, which are all rejected by God, nations and international logic, but they do not consider such acts as interference and instead they accuse Iran [of interference].”
The Leader described Yemen as an ancient nation capable of determining its own government, reiterating that the Saudi government should “stop these catastrophic crimes as soon as possible.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the primary plot designed by the ill-wishers of the Yemeni nation seeks to create a power vacuum and create an appalling situation there similar to the one in Libya. “Fortunately, they failed to realize that objective because pious youth devoted to Imam Ali – including Shias, Sunnis, Zaidis and Hanafis, stood against them and they will continue to resist and they will emerge victorious.”
At the beginning of his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei honored the memory of Ali Ahi, the deceased eulogist who was committed and industrious. The leader also and made a few points while addressing the eulogizers.
The leader urged the eulogizers not to take for granted the massive presence of youths in ceremonies commemorating the Household of the Prophet and highlighted the necessity of promoting religious teachings and the Islamic lifestyle and of encouraging the audience to discharge the big responsibilities they shoulder.
The leader also said youth should be urged to refrain from deviation and superstition in their beliefs.
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