Iran’s Top Leader Faults Rouhani for Crisis, Saying He Crossed ‘Red Lines’ – Iran’s supreme leader made his sharpest criticism yet of his country’s president on Monday, faulting him for having crossed …
The remarks by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, compounded the pressure on Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who is contending with economic protests, anger over endemic corruption, the threat of possible armed conflict with the United States and calls from Iran’s hard-line factions for resignations in his government.
Mr. Rouhani’s promises that the 2015 nuclear agreement reached with the United States and other world powers would lead to an economic revival in Iran have been thwarted since the Trump administration renounced the agreement in May and moved to restore American sanctions.
Over the past three months, Iran’s currency has plunged in value and large multinational companies have scrapped plans to do business in Iran, intimidated by the strong threat of financial penalties in the United States.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Monday that because of the insistence of Mr. Rouhani and his team, he had allowed them to negotiate the nuclear agreement, in which Iran curbed its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. However, Ayatollah Khamenei said, Iranian negotiators surrendered too much and “trespassed the red lines that had been set.”
Were it not for his own advice to Mr. Rouhani, the ayatollah said, “we would have given up more.”
Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks, in a speech reported on state-run media and excerpted on his website and Twitter accounts, show how he has sought to distance himself from Mr. Rouhani. The remarks also amounted to his first public rejection of President Trump’s offer two weeks ago of unconditional talks with Iran.
While other Iranian officials, including Mr. Rouhani, already had spurned the offer, Ayatollah Khamenei’s rejection is considered the final word.
Source: NY Times
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