Iran's Supreme Leader Throws Cold Water on Nuclear Negotiations
Iran's Supreme Leader Throws Cold Water on Nuclear Negotiations

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for a renewal of revolutionary spirit against outside enemies, who he accused of waging a "soft war" against the Islamic Republic. But he also held out an olive branch to Iran's internal opposition, saying that all opponents are "not counter-revolutionaries."

The Ayatollah told the cheering crowd of Basij militia members to preserve Iran's revolutionary spirit and to continue the struggle against the country's enemies, whom he claimed were "waging a soft war" against the Islamic Republic.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged Iranians to remain "vigilant" against what he called the country's outside enemies, and insisted that the nation's "top priority" was to combat the "soft war" that he alleges being fought against Iran in the Western media.

The Ayatollah said Western nations are using various forms of modern communication and cultural devices to sow divisions and discord among Iranians.

He complains that (Iran's enemies) are constantly looking for ways to sow discord and differences among Iranians, blowing up small quarrels into major ones. He says they use the media to create slander, and play the people off against their leaders and drive a wedge between the different parts of the government.

Ayatollah Khamenei also blasted Iran's opposition movement, charging that the "atmosphere of distrust and disunity" that now prevails in Iran "will profit no one." He warned that those inside Iran who "tried to fight Iran's Islamic system" would fail.

Iran's supreme leader did, however, hold out an olive branch to some members of the opposition movement, pointing out that all those who "question the outcome of Iran's disputed June 12 election" are not "hypocrites or counter-revolutionaries."

Meanwhile, Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani addressed a different crowd of Basij members and supporters, using the occasion to attack the United States and complaining that it was "trying to use trickery" in the draft nuclear deal with the U.N.'s international atomic energy agency.

He says that (the US) is using fancy rhetoric to trick and cheat us with their (nuclear) proposal. Iran, he adds, must not be fooled by the friendly smiles and tactics, because they always smile at us and hide daggers behind them.

A draft nuclear deal brokered by the U.N. and six world powers calls for Tehran to ship 70% of its low-grade uranium to Russia and France in return for more highly enriched fuel rods.

Iranian officials indicated Tuesday that they were not opposed to shipping Tehran's low-grade uranium abroad, but insisted on "objective guarantees," before agreeing to do so.