Pragmatism driving Iran’s Supreme Leader toward nuclear deal

AFP reports: A nuclear deal with Iran is finally within sight because its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has chosen pragmatism over hardline rhetoric and possible conflict with the West.

Throughout 18 months of diplomacy between Iran and six world powers led by the United States, the question that has dominated all others is whether Khamenei will ever sign off on an accord.

Iran’s negotiators, led by the wide-smiling, US-educated Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have often seemed desperately hemmed in at the talks by stringent red lines set by Khamenei.

The supreme leader, who has the final word on all policy matters foreign and domestic, has also previously cast doubt on whether dialogue would produce results, citing his distrust of America.

But the key parameters agreed in Lausanne on Thursday confirm the 75-year-old cleric’s intention to conclude a deal by June 30, analysts say. [Continue reading…]

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