As world powers in the so-called P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany) have resumed talks with Iran in Geneva on Thursday about a six-month draft interim deal that would limit Tehran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for easing sanctions against Tehran, it appeared that Iran is continuing to insist that its “right” to enrich uranium be recognized.The talks headed Thursday with an initial meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator, and the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton who is coordinating the negotiations on behalf of the P5+1. After that, a full plenary meeting of Iran and the six nations was expected to take place.
But what is interesting, beyond the smiles of the Iranian Foreign Minister, is the fact that the real supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a televised address on Wednesday, has insisted that his country will not give up its “nuclear rights”. In his address, he told commanders of the Basij force, a volunteer paramilitary force of young Iranians: “I insist on stabilising the rights of the Iranian nation, including the nuclear rights. I insist on not retreating one step from the rights of the Iranian nation.”
He said Iran’s negotiators “must respect these limits” when talking about the nuclear programme with “enemies and opponents”. Why does he insist on keeping the enrichment of uranium while peaceful nuclear programs are achievable without it?
Khamenei also attacked Israel. “The allegations that Iran poses a threat to the world are the words of enemies,” he said, referring to some countries, such as the “rabid dog of the region, namely the Zionist regime.”
“Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them,” he said, adding “The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation,” using a rhetoric familiar to former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
He also criticized France, after French President Francois Hollande assured Israel on Sunday that it would continue to oppose an easing of economic sanctions against Iran until it was convinced Tehran had given up any pursuit of nuclear weapons. “French officials are not only succumbing to the United States, but they are kneeling before the Israeli regime,” Khamenei said.
Khamenei’s remarks confirms comments made Wednesday by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius about Iran’s internal divisions and contradictions over the nuclear talks and outreach to the U.S. by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. Brandon Friedman, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and a researcher at its Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, told The Jerusalem Post that Khamenei gave a hard-line speech because “he wants to set the stage for a deal.”
If Iran is going to compromise with the US and the West, then its leadership “needs to reinforce the remaining pillar of ideology: the little Satan, or Israel.” “As Iran approaches some kind of détente with the West, we can expect its rhetoric on Israel to become harsher,” said Friedman. Commenting on how much of the Western press did not report some of Khamenei’s harsher remarks, Friedman said it was disappointing that the press seems reluctant to report both images coming out of Iran.
“They prefer the image of a new regime,” he said, “but the fact is that to understand the Islamic republic, the supreme authority resides with Khamenei.” “It seems curious that Khamenei’s denigrating and insulting remarks about Israeli officials went under-reported in the Western media,” Friedman said.
source: YOSSI LEMPKOWICZ