Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a rare move criticized the country’s president and foreign minister for the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly chastised the country’s president and foreign minister, saying he disagreed with the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal they negotiated with world powers.
The comments were extraordinary as Khamenei for the first time criticised both politicians by name. the criticism came amid tensions with the United States a year after Washington’s withdrawal from the accord.
Khamenei has the final say on all matters of state, and his blaming the deal’s unravelling limits the influence of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – relative moderates within Iran’s theocracy who had struck the deal.
It also shows the growing power of Iran’s hardliners.
“To some extent, I did not believe in the way that the nuclear deal was implemented,” Khamenei said, according to his official website. “Many times I reminded both the president and the foreign minister.”
Khamenei had given his implicit stamp of approval on the deal, which when signed sparked spontaneous celebration across Iran. The accord saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
But the agreement has unravelled after US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal and the reimposition of old sanctions and even stricter new ones.
Khamenei has previously warned the West, especially the US, was not trustworthy. But he hasn’t named the country’s top elected politician and his top diplomat before Wednesday night.