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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Hassan Rohani Photo: EPA
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Hassan Rohani Photo: EPA
 
 

Khamenei calls for 'flexible' nuclear diplomacy

Hinting at possible diplomatic 'flexibility' in upcoming nuclear talks, Khamenei says 'wrestler sometimes shows flexibility for technical reasons, but does not forget about opponent nor main objective'

Roi Kais
Published: 09.18.13, 00:15 / Israel News

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that flexibility was sometimes necessary in diplomacy as his negotiators prepared for new talks on his government's controversial nuclear program and reports broke that US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rohani have exchanged letters.

 

"Heroic flexibility is very useful and necessary sometimes but with adherence to one main condition," Khamenei told members of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

 

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Iran's supreme leader added: "A wrestler sometimes shows flexibility for technical reasons. But he does not forget about his opponent nor about his main objective."

 


Khamenei embraces Rohani during inauguration (Photo: MCT)

 

On September 11, Rohani said he had the tacit support of Khamenei for "flexibility" in talks with six major powers that are expected to resume in the coming weeks. Rohani has said he wants to allay Western concerns but that he will not renounce Iran's goal of an independent civil nuclear program.

 

Khamenei on Tuesday renewed his condemnation of nuclear weapons as un-Islamic. "We do not accept nuclear weapons because of our beliefs, not because of the United States or others," Khamenei said.

 

"When we say no one should possess nuclear weapons, we ourselves are definitely not seeking to acquire them. "

 

On Tuesday morning, Teheran slammed comments made by Obama in an interview to ABC that he does not reject use of force to stop the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

 

"We asked them to change their threats to a language of honor. These threats do not hurt the Iranian people's determination to protect their absolute nuclear rights," an Iranian Foreign Ministry representative said.

 

It was also reported that Obama will not be meeting Iran's President Rohani during the upcoming UN General Assembly. However, the US is very much interested in promoting dialogue with the Iranians together with the six powers, but this is no simple task.

 

The German paper Der Speigel reported that Iran has expressed readiness to shut its Fordo plant on the condition the sanctions against it are removed, but the US stressed that only actions – and not just words – will promote the process.

 

Unlike Rohani, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Obama in Washington on Sept 30, it was confirmed Tuesday.

 

In the backdrop of a potential rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, Netanyahu presented the terms he felt should be set for Iran in regards to its nuclear program.

 

"There are four steps," Netanyahu said. "The first is the cessation of all uranium enrichment activity, the second is the removal of uranium from Iran, the third is the closure of the Qom facility and the fourth is the halting of plutonium enrichment."

 

Netanyahu stressed that "only all four steps will constitute an actual halt of the nuclear endeavor. Pressure on Iran must be intensified, not withdrawn, until all four goals are achieved."

 

AFP contributed tot his report

 

 

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