TEHRAN – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei announced on Thursday that the recent U.S. overture for bilateral negotiations with Iran was not made in “good faith” and insisted that the Islamic Republic “will not negotiate under pressure.”
“The U.S. is pointing a gun at Iran and wants us to talk to them. But you should know that pressure and negotiation are not compatible with each other, and the Iranian nation will not be intimidated by these things,” Ayatollah Khamenei told a number of Air Force commanders at a meeting in Tehran.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on February 2 that Washington is prepared to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program. Biden also claimed “the ball is in the government of Iran’s court” to show that it’s negotiating in good faith.
The Leader countered, “The ball is in your court.”
Ayatollah Khamenei asked, “Generally, does speaking of negotiations while at the same time increasing threats and pressure have any real meaning?”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Washington tightened sanctions against Iran on Wednesday in an attempt to further limit the country’s ability to transfer its oil revenues from banks abroad.
“Negotiation is for proving one’s goodwill (but) you (Americans) do tens of things with ill intentions and then say negotiation. Can the Iranian nation believe that you have good intentions?” the Leader said.
He added, “I’m not a diplomat, I’m a revolutionary and speak frankly and directly.”
While some “simple-minded people” might be eager for the prospect of bilateral talks, Iran has seen nothing from the administration of Barack Obama except plots, Ayatollah Khamenei noted. “If anyone seeks the return of U.S. domination here, people will grab his throat.”
Pointing to the fact that more sanctions are being imposed on Iran, the Leader said, “You (Americans) have said you want to paralyze our people with sanctions. Is this a sign of good faith or bad faith?”
He went on to say that U.S. officials are proposing direct negotiations with Tehran because their policies in the Middle East have ended in failure. “Of course, we understand their need for negotiations because the Americans’ Middle East policies have failed.”
Negotiations become “meaningful” only when the two sides show “goodwill” and enter dialogue on an “equal footing” without an “intention of deceiving” each other, Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding, “negotiation for (the sake of) negotiation” or “tactical negotiation” is a “deceptive move”.
The Leader cited the 1953 coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq and the support provided to the despotic Pahlavi regime as instances of U.S. animosity toward Iran over the past six decades.
Ayatollah Khamenei stated, “Negotiations with the United States will not solve any problem because they (the Americans) have not kept any of their promises over the past 60 years.”
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