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Sep 03, 2015
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Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: The Americans Must Lift the Sanctions, Not Suspend Them

#5067 | 04:10
Source: Channel 1 (Iran)

In a September 3, 2015 speech to Iran's Assembly of Experts, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said, with regard to the nuclear deal, that the U.S. must lift the sanctions, and not merely suspend them. The speech was broadcast on Iran's Channel 1.

Following are excerpts:

Ali Khamenei: I have said this to the President. In my opinion, it is inappropriate to sideline the Majlis from [the agreement]. This is a matter that has been preoccupying the entire country for two years, and has now reached certain results. The Majlis must be involved. As for its decision, I do not make any recommendation. Whatever they decide, whether they accept or reject [the agreement] – I do not make any recommendation. The final decision is in the hands of the members of the Majlis, the representatives of the people.


Even though we have supposedly been dealing with six countries, only one government has been active in the negotiations – the U.S. administration. They have been exerting great efforts on this issue. The senior American officials are talking impertinently, and this must be dealt with. We are one party in this matter, and the Americans are the other. Sometimes they say that the framework of the sanctions should be maintained. So why did we spend all this time conducting negotiations? We conducted negotiations in order to lift the sanctions. If the framework of the sanctions is to be maintained – I don't understand what this means, but perhaps it will be interpreted in some way – this completely contradicts the reason we entered negotiations. If so, why did we ever enter negotiations? We were carrying out our activities.


When we entered the negotiations, we made some concessions, and we did so mainly in order to get the sanctions lifted. Unless the sanctions are lifted, there will be no agreement, because it will be meaningless. Our officials must make this clear. One should not say that [the Americans] are saying what they are saying merely in order to persuade their opponents at home. It's true that there is a real internal debate in the U.S. I don't think it's a show. They have their differences, and we know full well what these are. But we must respond to their official statements. If we do not respond, what they are saying will become the reality. That's one thing. Another thing is that the [Americans] say that those sanctions that are supposed to be lifted will [merely] be suspended. That's not the case. It's clear that the economic sanctions must be lifted. We wanted this to happen immediately. "Immediately" was interpreted in a certain way. I didn't say anything. It was fine. Our people interpreted "immediately," and said that it should be done in a certain way, and I did not object. Ultimately, however, the sanctions must be lifted. A freeze or suspension of the sanctions is unacceptable to us. If they [merely] suspend the sanctions, we will also [merely] suspend [our obligations]. If this is the case, why should we take the initiative and implement them? True, they said that lifting some of the sanctions was not up to the U.S. administration, with which we were holding talks. To this, we said that we would take legal measures to resolve the matter. But the sanctions that are up to the U.S. administration, and the European governments, must be lifted completely.


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