Iran’s Comments on Israel Deemed ‘Unacceptable’ as Talks Open

Iran’s leader launched an anti-Western broadside as global powers resumed negotiations on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, injecting fresh uncertainty into a diplomatic process viewed as crucial to Middle East stability. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s verbal attacks on Israel, the U.S. and its allies during a speech in Tehran Wednesday—he referred to the Jewish state as a “dirty rabid dog”—also tested the unity of the six international powers holding talks with Iran in Geneva this week. The French government quickly challenged Mr. Khamenei, calling his speech “unacceptable,” while the Obama administration offered a much milder response. This divergence mirrored the differing tactics Paris and Washington displayed two weeks ago during negotiations in the Swiss lakeside city. Then, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius publicly broke from the U.S. and other international powers and called the terms of the agreement being pursued with Tehran a “fool’s game.” French officials said Wednesday […]

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