On the day delicate international talks resume, Iran’s Supreme Leader has delivered a hardline speech warning that the country will not budge on the fundamentals of its nuclear programme.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a crowd of militiamen in Tehran he had set clear limits for his negotiators:“I insist that the rights of the Iranian nation be preserved, including its nuclear rights,” Khamenei said. “We do not intervene in the details of the talks. But there are certain red lines and limits. These have to be observed.”
The last meeting stumbled over Iran’s refusal to move over uranium enrichment it says is for peaceful purposes.
Britain responded to the Supreme Leader’s speech by saying that whatever comments were made, remaining differences were narrow and a historic deal within reach.
Iran and six world powers are meeting in Geneva to discuss a proposed agreement that might see Tehran suspend part of its programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
Khamenei also accused France, which had spoken against the deal, of succumbing to the US and “kneeling before Israel”.
Paris replied saying such “unacceptable” attacks complicated the talks.
Euronews correspondent in Geneva Fariba Mavaddat said:
“A deal between Iran and the so called P5+1 is still possible provided that they overcome two massive challenges of satisfying hardliners on both sides, and reassuring Israel that Iran is not after nuclear weapons.”