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Iranian Leaders Hail Extended Negotiations as a Victory Over the U.S.

Members of Iran’s political and military leadership have reportedly framed the decision to extend nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 nations – the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany – as a victory for the regime.

Al Arabiya reports that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari told Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency that the agreement was a sign of American weakness.

“Americans have very clearly surrendered to Iran’s might and this is obvious in their behavior in the region and in the negotiations, and the enemies’ reservations vis-a-vis Iran are completely felt,” said Jafari, referring to the nuclear talks that were held in Vienna.

Jafari also threatened that if the United States and its allies decide to strike Iran, then “our war will end by conquering Palestine.”

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, similarly portrayed the outcome of the Vienna talks as a victory in a nationwide broadcast Monday night. Citing a translation of Rouhani’s speech, the Washington Free Beacon reports:

“Today we have a victory much greater than what happened in the negotiation,” Rouhani said. “This victory is that our circumstances are not like previous years. Today we are at a point that nobody in the world [in which no one says] sanctions must be increased in order that Iran accept P5+1 demands.”

“No one says to reach agreement we must increase pressure on Iran,” Rouhani said. “But they say to reach an agreement more time and more discussion is needed. This is a great victory for what the Iranian nation started since last June 15.”

“Today the world realizes that they can only deal with Iran with discussion, logic, and negotiation, and there exists no other way or means,” Rouhani said.

Similarly, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted by The New York Times:

“In the nuclear issue, America and colonial European countries got together and did their best to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, but they could not do so — and they will not be able to do so,” Mr. Khamenei’s personal website quoted him as saying.

Mr. Khamenei has the final say on all important policy matters in Iran, including its nuclear program. His remarks suggested that he would continue to support negotiations, but remained skeptical that they would yield a satisfactory agreement.

On Monday in Vienna, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif boasted that the deal effectively met Iran’s goal of “a serious and not a token Iranian enrichment program coupled with removal of sanctions.”

[Photo: American Enterprise Institute / YouTube ]