Sunday 21 January 2018

Ayatollah rejects US nuclear demands

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants economic sanctions lifted first
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants economic sanctions lifted first

Olga Attari in Teheran

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, has hardened his stance on global nuclear negotiations, with the deadline for a comprehensive agreement only days away.

He insisted Iran would only dismantle its nuclear infrastructure if economic sanctions were lifted first.

He also ruled out a freeze on research and development for 10 years, as well as inspections of military sites.

The demands appear to undercut a framework deal announced in April.

They could also limit the ability of Iran's negotiating team to make key concessions as the self-imposed June 30 deadline approaches.

As supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has the final say on all state matters.

The so-called P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany - want Iran to scale back its sensitive nuclear activities permanently to ensure that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.

Iran insists its nuclear work is peaceful.

Irish Independent

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