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Controversial remarks by Iran’s supreme leader leave nuclear talks in a cloud of doubt

Friday, May 22, 2015 0:35
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While the P5+1 touts the continuation of nuclear talks with Tehran, in shocking remarks, Iran’s supreme leader declared that inspection of nuclear sites and questioning of scientists is off limits.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, widely believed to have the final say on any possible deal over Iran’s contested nuclear program, denounced what he said were escalating demands by the United States and five other world powers.

“They say new things in the negotiations,” Khamenei stated in a graduation speech at the Imam Hussein Military University in Tehran. “Regarding inspections, we have said that we will not let foreigners inspect any military center.”

Central to Khamenei’s worries is the permit to interview nuclear scientists, starting with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the man considered as the key figure to Iran’s nuclear program. Fakhrizadeh’s identity was first revealed by an Iranian dissident group.

In another scoop, France’s foreign minister said Iran wants 24 days ahead notice for inspection of its nuclear sites in the event of a suspected violation of the final deal with world powers. These latest developments leave the future of the talks in a cloud of doubt. Western officials have refrained from attributing decisive success to the negotiations that are due to end by June 30.

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