The Rahbar of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei has cautioned about reading too much into the framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. He pointed out that specific details will determine its final outcome. While he expressed support for Iran's negotiating team, he said he did not have much confidence in the honesty and integrity of the other side.
Thursday April 9, 2015, 09:37 DST
Speaking for the first time about the framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, the Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the specifics of the nuclear negotiations would determine their final outcome. The Rahbar was speaking to a large gathering of Iranians at the Rahbari (his office) today (April 9) when he touched on the nuclear framework agreement signed in Lausanne, Switzerland exactly a week ago.
“Everything lies in the details,” said the Rahbar. “The other side which is known for backpedaling on its commitments may want to corner our country when it comes to the specifics [of the negotiations],” he cautioned. This was evident from the manner in which the US interpreted the framework agreement. While Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif and the European Union High Representative Frederica Mogherini were announcing the deal in Lausanne, the US put out its own version that was at variance with the agreed framework.
On April 8, Mogherini’s office had to issue a statement saying the only agreement is what was announced in Lausanne and not what spin others may put on it. Similarly, the EU council re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s Bank Tejarat as well as 22 other companies and entities despite a European court declaring such sanctions as illegal. Based on this and past experience of duplicity on the part of the US, the Rahbar emphasized: “It is pointless congratulating me and others at this point.” Pointing to the framework agreement, he said on its own it will not ensure a final deal.
“What has been done so far neither guarantees [the clinching of] an agreement itself and its contents, nor ensures that the negotiations would proceed to the end.”
The Rahbar said that “he has never been optimistic about negotiations with the US,” but that he “has supported and will support the negotiators” in the current talks. The underlining principle of any such deal would have to be to “ensure the interests and dignity of the [Iranian] people.” Iran and P5+1 group of countries - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany - along with officials from the European Union concluded a framework agreement on April 2 in Lausanne.
Based on this, the technical details and mechanisms for removing all sanctions against the Islamic Republic—that are illegal to begin with—will have to be finalized by June 30. The catch in all of this is not only the duplicitous nature of the US but also the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has to certify that Iran is in compliance with its NPT obligations. The IAEA’s track record does not evoke much confidence. It is manipulated by the US and its allies and thus can frustrate Iran’s legitimate rights by imposing insulting demands.
It has done this in the past and it cannot be ruled out that it won’t do this again. The Rahbar’s caution is not only justified but extremely useful. It is not time for celebration yet.