TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday that flexibility was sometimes necessary in diplomacy as his negotiators prepared for new talks on his government’s controversial nuclear drive.
Khamenei’s comments, reported by state television, came after Iran’s new President Hassan Rowhani, who took office last month, said he would show flexibility in renewed talks with the major powers.
“Heroic flexibility is very useful and necessary sometimes but with adherence to one main condition,” Khamenei told members of the elite Revolutionary Guards.
“A wrestler sometimes shows flexibility for technical reasons. But he does not forget about his opponent nor about his main objective,” Khamenei said.
On September 11, Rowhani said he had the tacit support of Khamenei for “flexibility” in talks with six major powers that are expected to resume in the coming weeks.
Rowhani has said he wants to allay Western concerns but that he will not renounce Iran’s goal of an independent civil nuclear programme.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was to fly to New York later yesterday to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
On the sidelines, he is scheduled to meet the European Union’s top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, who represents the powers in the decade-long talks.