Mighty Iran forced world to strike nuke deal, supreme leader says
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Mighty Iran forced world to strike nuke deal, supreme leader says

Ayatollah Khamenei warns against ‘soft war’ West is waging on Islamic Republic in bid to erode power from within

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei poses for a portrait prior to delivering his message for the Iranian New Year, Sunday, March 20, 2016. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/AP)
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei poses for a portrait prior to delivering his message for the Iranian New Year, Sunday, March 20, 2016. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/AP)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday that Tehran, through its “might,” forced world powers into striking last year’s nuclear deal, but urged vigilance against the West’s “soft war” against the Islamic Republic.

After years of negotiations, Iran and world powers, led by the United States, reached an agreement last year to freeze and inspect Iran’s rogue nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

“The other sides accepted (to recognize) Iran’s nuclear industry after they saw Iran’s might,” demonstrated by Tehran’s ability to enrich uranium to 20%, Khamenei told a meeting of the Assembly of Experts Thursday.

“The enemy which once wasn’t ready to accept even the existence of one centrifuge in Iran, was forced to accept the same fact after facing the country’s nuclear power,” Fars news quoted Khamenei saying. “Actually, the Americans didn’t make this concession but we took it in light of our own power.”

Speaking to the council entrusted with the authority to appoint the next supreme leader, Khamenei warned that Iranian officials “should be vigilant about the West’s continued soft war against Iran… the enemies want to weaken the system from inside,” Reuters reported.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna, Austria, on January 16, 2016. (AFP/Kevin Lamarque/Pool)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna, Austria, on January 16, 2016. (AFP/Kevin Lamarque/Pool)

Earlier this week Iran’s Assembly of Experts chose ultra-conservative Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati to head the key body.

The 89-year-old cleric is one of the few hardliners who secured reelection in a February vote that saw a landslide for reformist and moderates in the capital and big gains elsewhere.

Hardliners like Jannati nonetheless control the Islamic Republic’s judiciary, military, and Guardian Council, the body that oversees laws and election candidates, and public broadcasters, Reuters reported.

“By impairing centers of powers in Iran, it will be easy to harm the establishment from inside.”

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