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MEMRI: Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's Letter Of Guidelines To

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MEMRI October 22, 2015 Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No.1196
Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Letter Of Guidelines To President Rohani
On JCPOA Sets Nine Conditions Nullifying Original Agreement Announced July
14, 2015
By: Y. Carmon and A. Savyon*

On October 21, 2015, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a letter
of guidelines to Iranian President Hassan Rohani on the execution of the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The letter’s publication
coincides with the days of the Ashura that are of vital religious and
national significance in Iran and symbolize steadfastness against the forces
of evil. Intended as an historical document aimed at assuring Iran’s future,
the letter was posted on Khamenei’s website in Persian and tweeted from his
Twitter account and posted on his Facebook page in English (see Appendices),
and published in English by the official Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting authority IRIB (see below). The letter is now a founding
document in all things concerning the JCPOA and the conditions under which
Iran will be willing to execute it.

The letter, defined by Khamenei on his website as “conditional approval” of
the JCPOA, sets several new conditions for Iran’s execution of the
agreement. These conditions constitute late and unilateral additions to the
agreement concluded three months previously that fundamentally change it.
Khamenei stresses that the agreement awaits his opinion following what he
calls “precise and responsible examination” in the Majlis and “clearance of
this agreement through legal channels” in Iran’s Supreme National Security

It should be further noted that in his introduction to the new conditions,
Khamenei attacks the U.S. and President Obama with great hostility, and
calls for Obama to be prosecuted by international judiciary institutions. He
states that Obama had sent him two letters declaring that he has no
intention of subverting the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but adds
that the U.S.’s support for fitna in Iran (i.e. the popular post-election
unrest in 2009), its monetary aid to opponents of the Republic, and its
explicit threats to attack Iran have proven the opposite and have exposed
the real intent of America’s leaders, whose enmity towards Iran will not
end. He wrote that the Americans’ behavior in the nuclear talks is another
link in the chain of its enmity towards Iran, that America entered into the
talks with the aim of “deception,” and that therefore Iran must remain alert
in light of America’s hostile intentions.

The set of conditions laid out by Khamenei creates a situation in which not
only does the Iranian side refrain from approving the JCPOA,[1] but, with
nearly every point, creates a separate obstacle, such that executing the
agreement is not possible.

The following are Khamenei’s nine conditions, and their implications:

Khamenei’s Conditions For Iranian Execution Of The JCPOA

First condition: Khamenei demands that the U.S. and Europe lift the
sanctions, not suspend them, and in addition demands “solid and sufficient”
guarantees in advance that this will be done, before Iran takes its own
steps and meets its own obligations under the agreement. These guarantees,
insists Khamenei, must include, inter alia, an official letter from the U.S.
president and from the EU undertaking to fully lift the sanctions.
Furthermore, he demands that this letter will state that any declaration by
the West that the “structure of the sanctions will remain in force” (i.e.
allowing snapback) will be considered “non-compliance with the JCPOA” on the
part of the West.

Implications: These conditions constitute a total change of the JCPOA.
Khamenei is not allowing any execution of the JCPOA by Iran until this is
accepted in writing by the other side, and thus he is nullifying the JCPOA
as agreed upon on July 14, 2015.

Second condition: Any sanctions against Iran “at every level and on every
pretext,” including terrorism and human rights violations, by any one of the
countries participating in the negotiations will “constitute a violation of
the JCPOA,” and a reason for Iran to stop executing the agreement.

Implications: This demand, that links the JCPOA to other issues and
prohibits any punishment of Iran on any issue and for any reason, serves as
an excuse for Iran to cancel the agreement.

Third condition: Under the JCPOA, Iran is obligated, following the JCPOA’s
Adoption Day, to carry out its obligations concerning changing the function
of the nuclear reactor at Arak and shipping out most of its stockpile of
enriched uranium. Contrary to this, Khamenei is changing the timetable of
the JCPOA, stating that Iran will not carry out these actions until after
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declares that it is closing
its dossier on Iran’s “past and future issues (including the so-called
Possible Military Dimensions or PMD of Iran’s nuclear program).”

Implications: This demand to change the timetable creates a situation in
which Iran will not take action as stipulated in the JCPOA, and will not
meet its obligations, before the sanctions are eased, also according to the
JCPOA, but instead dictates that the sanctions must first be lifted
completely and states that only then will Iran meet its obligations.
Khamenei here is creating a situation in which the IAEA will not be able to
report on Iran’s meeting of its obligations regarding the Arak reactor and
regarding the shipping out of its enriched uranium by the target date of
December 15, 2015, because Iran is not going to do so by then – thus the
execution of the agreement is thwarted from the beginning.

Fourth condition: Iran will meet its obligations to “renovate” and change
the purpose of the Arak reactor only after there is a signed agreement on an
“alternative plan” for changes to the reactor, and after there is
“sufficient guarantee” that this alternative plan will be implemented.

Implications: Iran’s fulfillment of its obligations regarding the Arak
reactor, as stipulated by the JCPOA, will be postponed until some unknown
future date.

Fifth condition: Iran will carry out its obligation to ship out its enriched
uranium to another country in exchange for yellowcake “on a gradual basis
and on numerous occasions,” and only after “a secure agreement has been
clinched to that effect, along with sufficient guarantees” that this
exchange will be implemented.

Implications: The date for Iran to ship out its enriched uranium as
stipulated by the JCPOA is postponed until some unknown future date.
Khamenei is demanding that Iran receive in exchange for the enriched uranium
not raw uranium as per the JCPOA, but instead uranium that has been
enriched, albeit to a lower level than the uranium it ships out. This is yet
another change to the JCPOA as concluded on July 14, 2015.

Sixth condition: Khamenei instructs President Rohani to begin, along with
reducing Iran’s ability to enrich uranium under the JCPOA, immediately to
expand Iran’s ability to enrich uranium with a 15-year long-term plan for
190,000 centrifuge SWU (Separative Work Units). “This plan,” he says, “must
allay any concern stemming from some points entailed in the JCPOA

Implications: This article nullifies the declared goal of the JCPOA, which
is to reduce Iran’s nuclear enrichment capabilities.

Seventh condition: The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization must ensure
continued nuclear research and development, in its various dimensions, such
that in eight years’ time, Iran will not be lacking in enrichment
technology. This, he says, is all in accordance with the JCPOA.

Eighth condition: In the event of doubt or ambiguity regarding the content
of the JCPOA, the source of authority for removing this doubt or ambiguity
will be the content of the talks – i.e. it will also include the statements
by the Iranian side, not just the “interpretation provided by the opposite
party,” that is, the P5+1.

Implications: Any doubt or ambiguity regarding the content of the JCPOA will
become the source of unending dispute and will paralyze any possibility of
executing the agreement.

Ninth condition: Due to apprehensions that the other side, particularly the
U.S., will break its promises or cheat, President Rohani must establish a
“well-informed and smart panel” to monitor the execution of the agreement.

Implications: Khamenei is creating an administrative framework for perpetual
delays in the execution of the agreement.

Khamenei adds also a 10th condition, directed at Iran, not the P5+1,
demanding that Rohani take seriously his instructions in the matter of the
“resistance economy,” the main thrust of which is self-reliance instead of
basing Iran’s economy on external sources. He also demands that after the
sanctions are lifted, there will be no “unbridled imports,” and no imports
whatsoever from the U.S.

Political Ramifications In Iran

In February 2016, elections for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts are
set to take place in Iran. The pragmatic camp, headed by Hashemi Rafsanjani
and President Rohani, had hoped that a quick execution of the agreement
would allow the sanctions to be eased and funds to be released immediately,
which in turn would allow the pragmatic camp to present these achievements
and triumph in the elections. By setting these conditions, however, Khamenei
has thwarted any speedy execution of the agreement, and thus has thwarted
the pragmatic camp’s hope for electoral success.

IRIB Translation

The following is the official English translation of Khamenei’s letter, as
published by IRIB.[2] This translation was tweeted by Khamenei and also
posted on his Facebook page (see Appendix I and II).

“Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:41
“Ayatollah Khamenei sends a letter to President Hassan Rouhani about the

“Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a
letter to President Hassan Rouhani, who also heads the Supreme National
Security Council (SNSC), referred to the precise and responsible examination
of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the Islamic
Consultative Assembly (parliament) and also the SNSC, and the clearance of
this agreement through legal channels, and issued important instructions
regarding the observation of and safeguarding the country’s national
interests. Enumerating nine-point requirements for the implementation of the
JCPOA, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorsed SNSC Resolution 634, dated August 10,
2015, provided that the following provisions and requirements are observed.

“The full text of Ayatollah Khamenei’s letter follows on:

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

“Your Excellency, Mr Rouhani,
“President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Supreme National
Security Council
“May God bestow success upon you.
“Greetings to You

“The agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has
already been cleared through legal channels following precise and
responsible examinations in the Islamic Consultative Assembly,
[parliamentary] ad hoc committees and other committees as well as the
Supreme National Security Council. Since the agreement is waiting for my
view, I deem it necessary to remind several points so that Your Excellency
and other officials directly or indirectly involved in the issue would have
enough time to comply with and safeguard national interests and the country’s
best interests.

“1. Before anything else, I deem it necessary to extend my gratitude to all
those involved in this challenging procedure throughout all its periods,
including the recent nuclear negotiating team whose members tried their best
in explaining the positive points and incorporating all those points [into
the agreement], critics who reminded all of us of weak points through their
appreciable meticulousness, and particularly the chairman and members of the
Majlis ad hoc committee [set up to review the JCPOA] as well as the senior
members of the SNSC who covered some voids by including their important
considerations, and finally the Speaker of Majlis and Members of Parliament
who adopted a cautious bill to show the right way of implementation [of the
agreement] to the administration, and also national media and the country’s
journalists who despite all their differences of view presented a complete
image of this agreement to public opinion. This voluminous collection of
activity and endeavors and thoughts [spent] on an issue which is thought to
be among the unforgettable and instructive issues of the Islamic Republic,
deserves appreciation and is a source of satisfaction. Therefore, one can
say with certainty that the divine reward for these responsible
contributions will, God willing, include assistance and mercy and guidance
by Almighty God because the divine promises of assistance in exchange for
assisting His religion are unbreakable.

“2. Enjoying decades-long background of presence in the very details of the
affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, you must have naturally realized
that the government of the United States of America, neither in the nuclear
issue nor in any other issue, had been pursuing no other approach but
hostility and disturbance, and is unlikely to do otherwise in the future
either. The remarks by the US President [Barack Obama] in two letters
addressed to me on the point that [Washington] has no intention of
subverting the Islamic Republic of Iran turned out to be unreal and his open
threats of military and even nuclear strike, which can result in a lengthy
indictment against him in international courts, laid bare the real
intentions of US leaders. Political pundits and public opinion of many
nations clearly understand that the case of his never-ending hostility is
the nature and identity of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is born out
of the Islamic Revolution. Insistence on rightful Islamic stances and
opposition to the hegemonic and arrogant system, perseverance against
excessive demands and encroachment upon oppressed nations, revelations on
the US support for medieval dictators and suppression of independent
nations, incessant defense for the Palestinian nation and patriotic
resistance groups, rational and globally popular yelling at the usurping
Zionist regime constitute the main items which make the US regime’s enmity
against the Islamic Republic inevitable, and this enmity will continue as
long as the Islamic Republic [continues to] disappoint them with its
internal and sustainable strength.

“The behavior and words of the US government in the nuclear issue and its
prolonged and boring negotiations showed that this (nuclear issue) was also
another link in their chain of hostile enmity with the Islamic Republic.
Their deception through flip-flopping between their initial remarks that
came after Iran accepted to hold direct talks with them and their constant
non-compliance with their pledges throughout two-year-long negotiations and
their alignment with the demands of the Zionist regime and their bullying
diplomacy regarding relations with European governments and bodies involved
in the negotiations are all indicative of the fact that the US’s deceitful
involvement in the nuclear negotiations has been done not with the intention
of a fair settlement [of the case], but with the ill intention of pushing
ahead with its hostile objectives about the Islamic Republic.

“Doubtlessly, vigilance vis-à-vis the hostile intentions of the US
government and instances of resistance on the part of the officials of the
Islamic Republic of Iran throughout the negotiations managed, in numerous
cases, to prevent heavy damage from being inflicted [upon Iran].

“However, the outcome of the negotiations, which is enshrined in the JCPOA,
has numerous ambiguities and structural weaknesses that could inflict big
damage on the present and the future of the country in the absence of
meticulous and constant monitoring.

“3. The nine-point provisions entailed in the recent bill adopted by the
Majlis and the 10-point instructions outlined in the resolution of the
Supreme National Security Council carry helpful and effective points which
must be taken into consideration. Meantime, there are some other necessary
points which are announced here while some of the points mentioned in the
two documents are highlighted.

“First, since Iran has accepted to negotiate basically for the objective of
removal of unjust economic and financial sanctions and its enforcement (the
lifting of sanctions) is tied to Iran’s future actions under the JCPOA, it
is necessary that solid and sufficient guarantees be arranged to avoid any
infraction by the opposite parties. Written declaration by the US president
and the European Union for the lifting of the sanctions is among them. In
the statements of the EU and the US president, it must be reiterated that
these sanctions will be fully lifted. Any declaration that the structure of
the sanctions will remain in force shall imply non-compliance with the

“Second, throughout the eight-year period, any imposition of sanctions at
any level and under any pretext (including repetitive and fabricated
pretexts of terrorism and human rights) on the part of any of the countries
involved in the negotiations will constitute a violation of the JCPOA and
the [Iranian] government would be obligated to take the necessary action as
per Clause 3 of the Majlis bill and stop its activities committed under the

“Third, the measures related to what is mentioned in the next two clauses
will start only after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
announces [the conclusion of] the past and future issues (including the
so-called Possible Military Dimensions or PMD of Iran’s nuclear program).

“Fourth, measures to renovate the Arak plant by preserving its heavy [water]
nature will start only after a firm and secure agreement has been signed on
an alternative plan, along with sufficient guarantees for its

“Fifth, the deal with a foreign government for swapping enriched uranium
with yellow cake will start only after a secure agreement has been clinched
to that effect, along with sufficient guarantees [for its implementation].
The aforesaid deal and exchange must be done on a gradual basis and on
numerous occasions.

“Sixth, by virtue of the Majlis bill, the plan and the necessary
preparations for mid-term development of the atomic energy industry, which
includes the method of advancement in different periods of time for 15 years
for the final objective of 190,000 SWU, must be drawn up and carefully
reviewed by the Supreme National Security Council. This plan must allay any
concern stemming from some points entailed in the JCPOA appendices.

“Seventh, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran must organize research and
development in different aspects such that after the end of the eight-year
period, there would be no shortage of technology for the level of [uranium]
enrichment entailed in the JCPOA.

“Eighth, it must be noted that on the ambiguous points in the JCPOA
document, the interpretation provided by the opposite party is not
acceptable and the reference would be the text of the negotiations.

“Ninth, the existence of complications and ambiguities in the text of the
JCPOA and the suspicion of breach of promise, infractions and deception by
the opposite party, particularly the US, require that a well-informed and
smart panel be established to monitor the progress of affairs and [gauge]
the opposite party’s commitment and realization of what was mentioned above.
The composition and the tasks of this would-be panel should be determined
and approved by the Supreme National Security Council.

“In witness whereof, Resolution 634, dated August 10, 2015, of the Supreme
National Security Council, is endorsed pending the observation of the
aforementioned points.

“In conclusion, as it has been notified in numerous meetings to you and
other government officials and also to our dear people in public gatherings,
although the lifting of sanctions is a necessary job in order to remove
injustice [imposed on people] and regain the rights of the Iranian nation,
economic overture and better livelihood and surmounting the current
challenges will not be easy unless the Economy of Resistance is taken
seriously and followed up on entirely. It is hoped that this objective will
be pursued with full seriousness and special attention would be paid to
enhancing national production. You should also watch out so that unbridled
imports would not follow the lifting of sanctions, and particularly
importing any consumer materials from the US must be seriously avoided.

“I pray to Almighty God for your and other contributors’ success.
“Source: www. leader. ir”

*Y. Carmon is President of MEMRI; A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran

Appendix I: Khamenei’s Letter On Twitter[3]

Appendix II: Khamenei’s Letter On Facebook[4]


[1] See: MEMRI TV Clip No. 5114, Iranian Guardian Council Secretary-General
Ahmad Jannati: Khamenei Has Not Approved or Signed the JCPOA, October 16,
2015; MEMRI TV Clip No. 5117, Iranian Guardian Council Spokesman Nejatollah
Ebrahimian: The JCPOA Was Not Approved by the Majlis or the Guardian
Council, October 18, 2015; MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No.1192, The Iranian
Majlis Has Not Approved The JCPOA But Iran’s Amended Version Of It, October
13, 2015; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6191, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei,
Iranian Officials Speak Out Against Iranian Approval Of JCPOA October 18,

October 21, 2015.

[3], October 21, 2015.

[4], posted October 21,

© 1998-2015, The Middle East Media Research Institute All Rights Reserved.
Materials may only be cited with proper attribution.


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