Iran Supreme Leader OKs Nuke Deal, Accuses Obama of 'Threats'

by Ali Arouzi and F. Brinley Bruton /  / Updated 

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TEHRAN — Iran's most powerful man has thrown his weight behind the nuclear deal signed with the U.S. and other world powers, while also accusing President Barack Obama of threatening his country.

The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the July 14 deal be implemented subject to certain conditions, according to a letter on his official website on Wednesday. The deal with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China formally took effect on Sunday, although Iran must further restrict its nuclear program for economic sanctions to be dropped.

Shortly after the letter was posted, a Twitter account associated with Khamenei said the United States maintained a hostile approach towards Iran despite public overtures.

The Supreme Leader also said the U.S. and European Union must announce that they were dropping sanctions before Iran completely fulfilled its obligations.

"If sanctions remain in place or new sanctions are imposed that would be a violation of the JPOA and Iran should stop implementing the nuclear deal," it said, referring to the Joint Plan of Action, the deal's official name.

Under the JPOA, Iran accepted to dramatically limit its nuclear program in exchange for relief from the sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Khamenei has always supported President Hassan Rouhani and his nuclear negotiating time, while also making hard-line statements about the West and the U.S. in particular.

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