January 29, 2014
There seemed to be confusion among Iranian politicians about the Supreme Leader's "real" position on Iran's negotiations with the West on its nuclear program, the Persian language edition of Radio France Internationale is reporting, citing several Iranian press reports.
The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on Iran's key domestic and foreign policies, has until now appeared to back the foreign-policy team that has negotiated limits on the country's nuclear program in exchange for a loosening of crippling economic sanctions.
The crucial point in agreements reached so far, which some in Iran have criticized, was Tehran's pledge to curb uranium enrichment, which the Western powers feared would lead to the production of nuclear weapons.
And now some conservative politicians in Iran are saying Khamenei was dissatisfied with the pledge to curb enrichment, according to Iranian legislator, Javad Karimi-Qoddusi, who declared that the Supreme Leader recently said he had "read the text" of Iran's Geneva accords "three times, and I do not infer halting the right to enrich uranium."
Another conservative MP Mahmud Nabavian was cited as saying that negotiators had disrespected the Leader's instructions not to "cross the red line" - meaning Iran's enrichment "rights."
Iran's moderate former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani then stepped in to say that Khamenei "approved the negotiating team, both before and after the negotiations," adding that such remarks sought to "discourage" Iranians, Jomhuri-e Eslami newspaper reported.
The debate is the latest fireworks in ongoing political rivalries between Iranian moderates and more hardline elements. The latter claim to have the Leader's ear and sympathies, though both sides usually wait for Khamenei's next set of declarations, to see which direction he is swaying.
RFI did, however, not that Khamenei's office had yet to contradict the recent claims about his "dissatisfaction."
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