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Iran's Supreme Leader Supports 'Good' Nuclear Deal

  • RFE/RL

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a meeting of air force pilots and commanders in Tehran on February 8. (file photo)

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a meeting of air force pilots and commanders in Tehran on February 8. (file photo)

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said he backs a "good" nuclear compromise with world powers in which neither side is likely to get everything it wants.

"I would go along with any agreement that could be made," Khamenei said in a statement carried by the ISNA news agency on February 8. "Of course, I am not for a bad deal."

Later, Khamenei addressed a meeting of air force pilots and commanders in Tehran, telling them, "We believe that no deal is better than a bad deal, a deal that is against national interests, a deal that humiliates the great and glorious nation of Iran."

Khamenei said, "The Iranian nation will not accept any excessive demands and illogical behavior.

But the supreme leader noted in his statement that President Hassan Rohani had said, "Negotiations are about trying to reach a common stand."

Khamenei said, "This means that one side would not end up getting all it wants."

Khamenei's comments came the same day Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said an international security conference in Munich that there is no need to further extend a deadline on a deal on Tehran's nuclear program.

Zarif said another extension is not "in the interests of anybody."

He also said the November 2014 decision to extend the deadline to June 30 2015 was not "necessary or useful."

The United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia have spent 12 years locked in a standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, which the West believes is being used to develop the capability to produce nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry was also in Munich and said in a February 7 interview aired by the U.S. television program "Meet the Press" the following day that he was also against any more extensions to the deadline on a nuclear deal with Iran.

"The only chance I can see of an extension at this point in time would be that you really have the outlines of the agreement," Kerry said.

The U.S. secretary of state added, "But if we're not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the course of the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend."

Meanwhile, the chief of the UN's nuclear agency says talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have reached a "crucial" juncture.

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said Iran needed to step up its talks with his agency and clear up key aspects of its nuclear program.

Amano was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on February 7.

Amano also met in Munich with Zarif, although no details emerged following their talks.

Last November, the IAEA issued a report saying that Iran was failing to fully address suspicions that it may have worked on designing a nuclear bomb.

The next detailed report is expected later this month, but Amano declined to comment on it.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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