Iran’s president lashes out at nuke deal critics

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, second right, leaves after speaking during the “Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Committee on Palestine Meeting on Situation in Gaza,” at the Parsian-e-Azadi Hotel in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, is seen at left. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has offered his harshest criticism yet of hard-liners opposed to making a deal over its contested nuclear program with world powers, saying they should go “to hell.”

Rouhani made the comments Monday while addressing an annual meeting of Iranian ambassadors, calling the hard-line critics “political cowards.”

Rouhani said: “Anytime there is going to be negotiations, a handful say we are shaking. Well, to hell. Go and find a warm place for yourself. What should we do?”

Hard-liners have opposed the interim deal struck last year, saying Tehran offered too many concessions in return for too little. However, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, has backed the nuclear negotiating team.

By The Associated Press


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