Expert: Khamenei’s letter to Rouhani voids deal

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a letter of guidelines for President Hassan Rouhani, adding new conditions for Iran’s execution of the nuclear deal.

October 26, 2015 04:03
3 minute read.
iran khamenei

A MILITARY truck carrying a missile and a picture of Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei drives in a parade marking the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war in Tehran. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Conditions set out by Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei effectively give him the power to bypass the government and cancel the nuclear deal, an expert said Sunday.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a letter of guidelines for President Hassan Rouhani, adding new conditions for Iran’s execution of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that was agreed upon on July 14.

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According to a recent analysis by Yigal Carmon, the president of the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the head of its Iran desk, Ayelet Savyon, the letter was posted on Khamenei’s website last Wednesday in Farsi, tweeted from his Twitter account and posted on his Facebook page in English.

“The set of conditions laid out by Khamenei creates a situation in which not only does the Iranian side refrain from approving the JCPOA but, with nearly every point, creates a separate obstacle, such that executing the agreement is not possible,” they wrote.

Following the publication of the supreme leader’s letter, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and Rouhani fully accepted Khamenei’s stipulations, Savyon told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

“A committee will be formed, according to the instructions of Khamenei, which will supervise government activities for the implementation of the agreement,” she said. “By putting the supervising body on the government, it effectively gives Khamenei the power of bypassing the government and further weakening the pragmatic camp.”

Carmon and Savyon also note in their report that Khamenei harshly attacked US President Barack Obama in his letter, saying international institutions should prosecute him. The Iranian leader claimed Obama sent him two letters saying he had no intention of undermining the Iranian regime, but continued to support its opponents and even threatened to attack.


One of the 10 new demands made by Khamenei is that the US and Europe provide “solid and sufficient” guarantees that they will drop sanctions before Iran complies with its commitments under the agreement. The letter also rules out any snapback option, saying it would be considered “non-compliance” with the agreement.

Another condition states that any sanctions against Iran “at every level and on every pretext,” including terrorism and human rights violations, would “constitute a violation of the JCPOA .”

The implication of that condition, according to the MEMRI report, is that it prevents “any commitment of Iran on any issue and for any reason,” serving “as an excuse for Iran to cancel the agreement.”

A third condition stipulated in the letter is the closing of Iran’s file with the International Atomic Energy Agency before it carries out its obligation of changing the functioning of its nuclear reactor at Arak and shipping out most of its enriched uranium. According to the JCPOA , Iran first must take action before its nuclear file is closed with the IAEA.

Khamenei also demands that Iran’s obligation to ship out its enriched uranium to a third country in exchange for yellowcake uranium is “on a gradual basis and on numerous occasions.”

This effectively delays the shipping out of the uranium until an unknown future date, and upgrades the uranium Iran will receive to enriched uranium, not raw uranium, as was stipulated in the JCPOA .

Another condition is that any doubts over the implementation of the agreement will be dealt with in talks between Iran and the six powers, which will “paralyze any possibility of executing the agreement.”

The political ramification of this, according to Carmon and Savyon, is that Khamenei is seeking to thwart the quick execution of the agreement in order to hurt the pragmatic camp, headed by Hashemi Rafsanjani and Rouhani, and its chances in the coming February 2016 Majlis and Assembly of Experts elections.

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