Khamenei: Nuclear talks will ‘lead nowhere’

Updated 18 February 2014
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Khamenei: Nuclear talks will ‘lead nowhere’

TEHRAN: Iran’s top decision-maker Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday his country’s nuclear talks with world powers will “lead nowhere,” pouring cold water on the negotiations.
Iran is due to resume talks on Tuesday in Vienna with the P5+1 major powers — Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany — aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord on its controversial nuclear program.
After a decade of failure and rising tensions, US President Barack Obama has put the chances of an agreement at “50-50,” while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has predicted “difficult” discussions.
“Some of the officials of the previous government as well as the officials of this government think the problem will be resolved if they negotiate the nuclear issue,” Khamenei said in remarks published on his website Khamenei.ir.
“I repeat it again that I am not optimistic about the negotiations and they will lead nowhere, but I am not against them,” he added.
Under the “comprehensive” deal now being sought, which the parties aim to conclude and commence implementing by November, the powers will want Iran to scale back its activities permanently.
Khamenei said Iran would abide by its pledge to pursue the negotiations, adding that Iranian officials should “continue their efforts.”
“The work that has been started by the foreign ministry will continue and Iran will not violate its commitment, but I repeat it again, it will lead to nowhere,” Khamenei said.
“The Iranian nation emphasized that it will never succumb to the bullying and blackmailing of America,” said Khamenei, referring to anti-US slogans chanted by huge crowds during nationwide celebrations last week of the 35th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution.
He also said Iran’s nuclear issue was being used as a pretext for Washington to pursue hostile policies toward the Islamic republic.
“The nuclear issue is an excuse for America (to continue) its animosity. Now, the American spokesmen are bringing up the issues of human rights and missiles.”


Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 26 March 2019
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Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Arab states on Monday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Breaking decades of international consensus, Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.