Khamenei rejects talks if outcome fixed by US, marks embassy hostage anniversary

“We do not want any negotiation the result of which is predetermined by the United States,” said Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the clearest rejection yet of the world powers’ UN-brokered proposal for Iran to ship three-quarters of its enriched uranium overseas for reprocessing.
“Giving the US a veto over the nuclear talks would be like a sheep and wolf relation, which the late imam (Khomeini) has said ‘we do not want,”” he said.
To drive his anti-US message home, the ayatollah spoke Tuesday, Nov. 3, the eve of the 30th anniversary of the US embassy seizure by radical students on Nov. 4, 1979 shortly after Khomeini’s Islamic revolution – pouring salt on a sensitive landmark in Iranian-US relations. The 53 Americans were held hostage 444 days before being freed on Jan. 1981, but relations were never restored.
President Barack Obama and his engagement policy were singled out by Khameini for a smack in the face when he said: “Whenever the U.S offers a smile, it hides a dagger in his back.” The level of unrelenting anti-US rhetoric heard from the all-powerful spiritual ruler was exceptional even in Iranian terms.
debkafile‘s Iranian sources report that the all-powerful Ayatollah may have left a wafer-thin crack more divisive than constructive open for the negotiations begun in Geneva last month to continue. The United States must have no say in their outcome, he insisted in the hope of isolating the US from its fellow negotiators, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany.
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Tuesday: “This is a pivotal moment for Iran. Acceptance fully of this proposal (overseas uranium enrichment) would be a good indication that Iran does not wish to be isolated and does wish to cooperate.”
Monday, Nov. 2, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned that the six world powers negotiating with Iran would not tolerate delaying tactics. “If the Iranian response is to stall, as it seems to be, we will not accept this,” he told journalists in Paris.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Font Resize
Contrast