Iranian leader denies credibility to West: ‘They hit us wherever they can’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called the United States “stubborn” in the suspended nuclear talks in Vienna. The Islamic Republic’s spiritual leader’s remarks came as his “uncompromising protégé”, President-elect Ibrahim Raisi, is to be sworn in next week as the country’s head of government, and negotiations to resume the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Tehran’s nuclear program have been put on hold, the Associated Press (AP) reported today, July 28

Iranian leader denies credibility to West: 'They hit us wherever they can'

While Raisi had earlier said he was seeking a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, Ayatollah Khamenei appears to have called for a more aggressive course in the talks in the Austrian capital in his remarks. Behind the Iranian leader’s latest statements, Khamenei and Raisi’s approach has been to assess the eight-year rule of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani’s government as “naive” in terms of its attitude towards the JCPOA and the United States’ willingness to follow its commitments under the international treaty, AP notes.

 

“Others should take advantage of your experience. Such experience is based on distrust of the West”, – Khamenei stressed in a speech that was broadcast on state television.

Both Raisi and Rouhani attended the event in Tehran.

“In this (Rowhani) government, it has become clear that trust in the West is not working. The West is not helping us, it is hitting wherever it can”, –  Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

Recall that the talks launched in Vienna in April aim to have the US return to the JCPOA, from which it unilaterally withdrew in May 2018 under former President Donald Trump, and lift sanctions on Iran while it resumes compliance with all its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. Tehran is currently enriching a small amount of uranium to the 60% level, although the JCPOA limits that limit to 3.67%. Tehran has also deviated from JCPOA requirements in terms of operating centrifuges with increased capacity.

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