The U.S. has responded to the Iranian Supreme Leader’s statements regarding the nuclear negotiations, stressing that the U.S. had not imposed any fresh sanctions on Iran since the interim agreement reached in November of 2013.
Marie Harf, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, told reporters on August 13, 2014: “I would note that we have not imposed additional nuclear-related sanctions since the Joint Plan of Action. We’ve been very clear about that. I’ve stood up here from this podium and argued strenuously against any.”
She went on to add that the U.S. talks with Iran are exclusively focused on the nuclear issue and they are seen as a test of “Iran’s seriousness to reach an agreement.
She added that the U.S. is looking for concrete actions, confirming that a certain level of that concrete action has been seen from Iran.
In a speech on Wednesday August 13, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the nuclear negotiations with the U.S. as “useless” and he maintained that the U.S. continues to persist in “its enmity against Iran.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader did not however ban the Iranian negotiation team, headed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, from continuing talks and in effect he commended their efforts.
Marie Harf confirmed once again that the talks between Iran and the 5+1 will continue at the ministerial level prior to and during the UN General Assembly in September.