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Iran's Supreme Leader Supports Extension of Nuclear Talks

  • VOA News

FILE - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Tehran's negotiators 'hard-working and serious.'

FILE - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Tehran's negotiators 'hard-working and serious.'

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says he supports the move to extend the Iranian nuclear talks, but he says the United States has the most to lose if the negotiations fail.

In a speech broadcast on state television Thursday, Khamenei said he does not oppose the seven-month extension for the same reason he has not opposed the talks thus far.

On Monday, Iran and a group of world powers agreed to extend the talks through June 30 of next year. The extension came after the two sides failed to reach a deal by Monday to ensure Iran's atomic program is peaceful, in exchange for easing sanctions that have hurt the country's economy.

Khamenei initially responded to the extension by saying the U.S. and "European colonialist powers" failed in their efforts to bring Iran "to its knees" during the nuclear negotiations.

The United States and its allies suspect Iran is working toward developing a nuclear weapon. But Iran insists its atomic program is only for peaceful, civilian purposes such as medical research and generating power.

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