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US foreign policy 'disintegrating,' says Iran's supreme leader

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused US Republican senators of "deceit" for intending to scrap any nuclear deal once President Barack Obama's term ends. Khamenei was reacting to a recent Republican letter.

Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday as saying that the Americans used "tricks and deceptions" when approaching the end of negotiations.

For years, Washington has pressured Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief. Western nations suspect Tehran is developing a covert nuclear weapons program. Iran insists its work serves only civilian purposes.

Mehr said Khamenei had told a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and senior clerics that whenever negotiations made progress, the Americans became "harsher, tougher and coarser."

Referring to the Republicans written intention to override any Obama deal with Iran, Khamenei reportedly asked, "Isn't this the ultimate degree of the collapse of political ethics and the US system's internal disintegration?"

The negotiations, which are set to resume in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week, are supposed to result in a framework agreement by the end of March and a final agreement in June.

The letter signed by 47 Republicans was an unusual intervention in US foreign policy, which traditionally falls within the purview of the White House and State Department.

ipj/sms (Reuters, AP)

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