France says Iranian stance shows difficulty of getting nuclear deal

PARIS (Reuters) - France said Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments on Thursday demanding the immediate lifting of all sanctions demonstrated there was still a lot of work to do before reaching a final agreement on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

“Subjects still remain that we aren’t agreed on, notably on economic sanctions, and the Supreme Leader has made statements that show there is still a lot of work to be done,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told lawmakers.

Khamenei said on Thursday he neither backed nor rejected an interim accord with six world powers on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program but demanded all sanctions be lifted immediately should a final agreement be concluded by June 30.

“We are going to keep the position we have held from the beginning, which is constructive but extremely demanding,” Fabius said. “If it’s possible, we want an agreement, but it needs to ensure that nothing remains in the shadows.”

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by James Regan