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Obama Upbeat On Final Iran Nuke Deal

  • RFE/RL

U.S. President Barack Obama says he is confident a final deal to curb Iran's nuclear program can be reached.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he is confident a final deal to curb Iran's nuclear program can be reached.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he is optimistic a comprehensive accord to curb Iran's nuclear program will be finalized despite strong words this week from the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Obama said he was not surprised by Khamenei's reaction, explaining that Iran has its own politics on the issue and "hard-liners" who need to be satisfied.

Speaking to reporters at the Americas summit in Panama on April 11, Obama said a final deal could achieve the core objectives while satisfying Iran's "pride."

World powers and Iran reached a framework accord in Switzerland last week.

They are now facing a June 30 deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement that would place limits on Iran's nuclear program in return for the removal of some U.S., European, and United Nations sanctions on its financial and energy sectors.

The United States has said that sanctions removal on Iran will be phased gradually, but Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, have said that sanctions on Iran must be lifted as soon as a final agreement is concluded.

Analysts say that disagreement highlights how Iranian and Western officials have interpreted the interim deal differently.

In his first public remarks on the deal on April 9, Khamenei warned about the "devilish" intentions of the United States.

"Americans put out a statement just a few hours after our negotiators finished their talks...this statement, which they called a 'fact sheet', was wrong on most of the issues." Khamenei said.

Khamenei said the tentative deal did not guarantee reaching a comprehensive deal by the deadline on June 30.

Khamenei reiterated Iranian denials that Tehran was seeking to build a nuclear weapon as the West suspects.

Negotiators from Iran, the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China will resume negotiations in the coming days to pave the way for the final deal.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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