Netanyahu and Khamenei.
(photo credit: REUTERS,MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Iran's Supreme Leader hit out on Thursday at a letter by US Republican senators threatening to undo any nuclear deal between Washington and Tehran, saying he was worried because the United States was known for "backstabbing," Mehr news agency reported.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei added at a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and senior clerics that whenever negotiators made progress, the Americans became "harsher, tougher and coarser," Mehr reported.
The letter signed by 47 Republican senators warned Iran that any nuclear deal made with US President Barack Obama could last only as long as he remained in office, in an unusual intervention into US foreign policy-making.
Mehr quoted Khamenei as saying: "Of course I am worried, because the other side is known for opacity, deceit and backstabbing."
"Every time we reach a stage where the end of the negotiations is in sight, the tone of the other side, specifically the Americans, becomes harsher, coarser and tougher. This is the nature of their tricks and deceptions."
The negotiations, which resume in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week, are at a critical juncture as the sides try to meet an end of March target for an interim deal, with a final deal in June.
Khamenei added that US accusations of Iranian involvement in terrorism were risible. He also criticized a speech to Congress
by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this month that warned the United States it was negotiating a bad deal with Iran that could spark a nuclear nightmare.
"When this Zionist clown spoke at Congress, members of the US government made remarks to deny any role in this event," a message on Khamenei's Twitter account read following his meeting with the clerics.
"But at the same time they accused Iran of terrorism; these remarks were cheap and despicable," he added.