Diplomacy

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Lashes Out, Deepening Fears that Tehran May Pocket Concessions and Walk Away from Talks

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday lashed out at a range of actors and elements long described by Tehran as antagonists – including Israel and global powers seeking to negotiate a settlement over Iran’s nuclear program – leading Agence France Press to report that talks scheduled to begin shortly in Geneva “may be fraught.” 

The New York Times reported and then deleted quotes by Khamenei describing Israelis as “untouchable rabid dogs, and the Jerusalem Post had more extensive passages:

“Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them,” said Khamenei. “The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation,” he said.

The “Zionist regime” says things that “only bring humiliation on themselves,” he said, adding that it is a regime that “emerged through force, and no phenomenon that has emerged through force has continued to exist – and this regime will not continue to exist either.”

The allegations that Iran poses a threat to the world are the “words of enemies,” he said, referring to some countries, such as the “rabid dog of the region, namely the Zionist regime,” as quoted by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

Regarding the substance of the upcoming Geneva talks, the Supreme Leader set out “red lines” beyond which he would not permit Iranian negotiators to compromise, remarks likely to deepen analyst concerns that Khamenei is preparing to pocket Western interim concessions and ban Iranian diplomats from striking an agreement under which Tehran would meet its obligations under half a dozen United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding it cease its uranium- and plutonium-related programs.

The Associated Press described Khamenei’s remarks as “Iran’s leader backs nuke talks, with conditions.”

[Photo: DragonFire1024 / Wiki Commons]