The arbitrary deadline to come to a nuclear agreement is less than a week away. Yet again, Iran’s Supreme leader took to Twitter to make his demands — demands not congruent with previous agreements.

The New York Times reported Tuesday:

In a speech broadcast live on Iran state television, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, demanded that most sanctions be lifted before Tehran has dismantled part of its nuclear infrastructure and before international inspectors verify that the country is beginning to meet its commitments. He also ruled out any freeze on Iran’s sensitive nuclear enrichment for as long as a decade, as a preliminary understanding announced in April stipulates, and he repeated his refusal to allow inspections of Iranian military sites.

American officials said they would not be baited into a public debate with the ayatollah, who has the final word on nuclear matters. But with Western foreign ministers already hinting that the negotiations may go past the June 30 deadline, both American and European officials have said in recent weeks that they are increasingly concerned about the possible effects of the ayatollah’s statements.

But the grandstanding didn’t stop there. They Ayatollah went to his favorite platform to clarify his demands.

Will the Ayatollah’s comments have any impact on the negotiations?

The NYT offered two possible scenarios:

1) “if the remarks were made chiefly to mollify hard-liners and military leaders, they say, they could sharply limit the flexibility of Iran’s chief negotiator, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as he heads into the week when the most difficult concessions are likely on both sides,” and,

2) “outside experts say, that the ayatollah’s series of statements over the past two months, seemingly stepping back from major commitments made by Mr. Zarif’s team, are carefully choreographed to bolster Iran’s negotiators, who can argue that they cannot deviate from the supreme leader’s strictures.”

White House defenders were quick to mount a defense. The Washington Free Beacon explains:

On the heels of Khamenei’s speech, prominent White House defenders fired off a series of tweets expressing shock.

“Was Khamenei’s speech designed to drive a stake in the #IranDeal?” asked Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ (IISS) Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Program. “His demands are unacceptable.”

Daryl G. Kimball, director of Arms Control Association, referred to Khamenei’s speech as “supremely unhelpful” and claimed it “backtracks on earlier Iranian commitments, jeopardizing win-win deal” with Tehran.

The speech was a “clumsy attempt at gaining leverage that jeopardizes a win-win deal,” Kimball tweeted.

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