January 15, 2016

IT'S NOT A NUCLEAR DEAL:

Iran's hard-liners: Just say no to diplomacy (Arash Karami, January 14, 2016, Al Monitor)

Not all Iranian media were happy to see the successful efforts of diplomacy, however. Raja News, which is linked to the Endurance Front, a hard-line political group and Rouhani's most vocal critic in parliament, wrote that the negotiations between Kerry and Zarif had violated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's guidelines that bilateral negotiations between Iran and the United States should be restricted to the nuclear issue. Raja referenced Khamenei's March 2015 speech in which he said, "The negotiations with America are about the nuclear issue and nothing else."

The article said Western media reported the pending release of US sailors after Zarif and Kerry spoke by phone. IRGC officials later said those reports were "speculation" and pointed out that no Iranian official had yet publicly confirmed that the sailors would be released. The articled argued that this was not the first time that non-nuclear discussions between the United States and Iran had taken place. Raja claimed that when Iran diverted its aid ships meant for Yemen to Djibouti in May, it was due to US pressure and came after a conversation between Kerry and Zarif.

Raja said the recent phone discussions between Kerry and Zarif are evidence that the Rouhani administration's "primary project is to expand ties with America at all levels."



Posted by at January 15, 2016 10:24 AM

  

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