19 August, 2015
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has promised that Iran will block foreign influence in the country, even if a nuclear deal passes.
Khamenei's speech came as Iran's lead negotiator worked on an international nuclear agreement. For Iran, the agreement would mean relief from economic sanctions in exchange for monitoring meant to stop the country from developing a nuclear weapon.
Ayatollah Khamenei spoke to a crowd in Tehran Monday that included members of the media.
"They thought this deal - and it is not clear if it will be passed in Iran or in America - would open up Iran to their influence. We blocked this path and will definitely block it in the future," he said.
The crowd chanted calls for death to America, Israel and Britain during Khamenei's speech.
Israel's government and many U.S. lawmakers oppose a deal with Iran because of its support for terrorist groups that have attacked Israel.
Khamenei told the crowd, "The Islamic Republic will fully support anyone who stands up to the Israeli regime and embraces the resistance."
Meanwhile, in Moscow, the Russian and Iranian foreign ministers agreed that the nuclear deal reached July 14 in Austria would improve relations between the two countries.
"Our relations have been good and the deal will have a positive impact on developing relations in all areas, including economy, defense and so on," said Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister.
A U.S. government official said Monday that a deal with Iran is limited to stopping Tehran from building a nuclear weapon.
"There are other issues with Iran, deep issues, with which we disagree, particularly their destabilizing activities in the region. And nothing's going to change about the fact that we're going to still -- we still will retain the tools necessary, whether they are diplomatic, economic or military, to deal with those activities," said John Kirby, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department.
Even if the nuclear issue is resolved, Iran and the United States remain opponents on many issues, including Israel. They also support opposite sides in Syria's civil war and the conflict in Yemen.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
VOA's Zlatica Hoke reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in This Story
influence – n. the power to change or affect someone or something ; the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen
monitor(ing) – v. to watch, observe, listen to, or check (something) for a special purpose over a period of time
resistance – n. effort made to stop or to fight against someone or something