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Iran’s supreme leader offers words of caution on nuclear accord

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on June 23.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on June 23.

(Khamenei.ir)

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told the nation’s president Thursday that some of the six world powers were not to be trusted to implement the nuclear deal they reached this week with Iran.

He also told President Hassan Rouhani that the accord needed “careful scrutiny” by lawmakers to make sure that it was “put in a predictable legal pathway.”

“We should be vigilant lest the opponent side does not honor its provisions and we should ensure that the paths for not implementing are closed,” Khamenei wrote in a letter, which appeared on his website. “You are well aware that some of the six states are not trustworthy at all.”

He did not say which of those nations – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China -- he was referring to. He has often expressed distrust of the U.S. and its motives.

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The accord calls on the international community to ease economic sanctions on Iran in return for limits on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The supreme leader’s comments suggested a less than full-throated endorsement of the agreement reached by the administration of Rouhani, who was elected in 2013 with the vow to revive an economy crippled by sanctions.

Khamenei offered a “cold message” to the president by muting his praise and emphasizing the need for lawmakers to scrutinize the deal, said Hamid Reza Taraghi, head of international affairs for one of the country’s most influential Islamic parties, the Islamic Coalition.

“He thanked the negotiating team but did not congratulate them for any victory,” Taraghi said. “The victory being sold by President Rouhani is not shared by many experts, as they see the Iranian nuclear industry paralyzed for many years in return for some relief of sanctions that may not be very helpful at all.”

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Mostaghim is a special correspondent.

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