The nuclear deal between the United States and Iran isn’t even in place and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is already warning the world that no more deals will be negotiated with America, the”Great Satan,” and that Israel won’t exist in 25 years.
Ali Khamenei’s rhetoric is sure to bolster those politicians and leaders in the United States looking for a way to block the nuclear deal with Iran, which will see Iranian oil and other exports flooding back into global markets. Critics fear that even if Iran follows the terms of the nuclear deal and freezes its nuclear weapon ambitions, the influx of funds will be used to fund terrorism and uprisings across the Middle East.
At first there were hopes that the nuclear accord would lead to further negotiations. Iran’s moderate Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had previously hinted that the negotiation could pave way to cooperation on other issues, such as the ongoing civil war in Syria. Iran’s support of Bashar al-Assad has been pivotal in propping the regime up, even as large swaths of the country have fallen to rebels and the Islamic State. Khamenei’s statements cast doubt on any wider cooperation, however.
The National Council of the Resistance of Iran offered perhaps the most concise summary of the situation:
“Khamenei’s remarks make it palpably clear that despite all the concessions offered by the P5+1 during the nuclear talks, the regime in Tehran is bent on continuing its financial and military assistance to the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the Houthis in Yemen, the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Shiite militias in Iraq. The mullahs are not part of any regional solution, they are indeed the main source of the problem,” said Ali Safavi of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the main Iranian dissident group.”
Khamenei has specifically said any further talks with the United States will be limited strictly to the nuclear deal, saying: “We approved talks with the United States about nuclear issues specifically. In other areas, we did not and will not allow negotiations with the U.S.”
Apparently Khamenei is worried that any further negotiations would allow the United States, which he called “Great Satan”, to assert its will upon Iran. Some hoped that the nuclear deal would be a major step forward for normalized relations between the United States and Iran. Diplomatic communications between the two countries have been severely restricted since 1980, following the ouster of the Shah and the storming of the American embassy, which saw 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days. By the looks of it, the U.S. and Iran won’t be engaging in normalized relations for some time.
The nuclear deal is becoming a hot topic for the U.S. election, and Republican parties in particular have been quick to slam the deal. GOP front runner Donald Trump and outspoken candidate Ted Cruz gathered on Wednesday to denounce the deal.Khamenei’s statements, and especially his claim that Israel will not exist in 25 years, are sure to inflame an already intense political atmosphere in the United States.