Despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated public praise of U.S. nuclear negotiations and its promise of ‘progress’, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called publicly for the ‘death of America’ over the weekend.
Last Friday President Obama appealed to Iranian leaders to take advantage of the ‘historic opportunity’ by agreeing to terms in the ongoing negotiations, which one might assume did not have the effect the White House had hoped.
In an address to a crowd gathered in protest in Tehran, Khomenei responded to chants by the crowd of “death to America” saying, “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.”
The public rhetoric comes in stark contrast to remarks made by Iranian President Hassan Rohani who indicated optimism for a compromise in negotiations by the end of the month, according to The Times of Israel.
What’s more, a hardline stance by the French could prove to upend any preliminary deal. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius tweeted last week that the U.S. demand for a deal by March 31 is a ‘bad tactic’.
France is insisting on a deal that would prevent Iran from producing a bomb while still guaranteeing the nation the opportunity to develop a civil nuclear program, a delicate line of negotiation to which few are likely to agree.