TEHRAN – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has expressed strong support for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, saying that no one should attempt to undermine the negotiators.
“These are the children of the revolution and representatives of the Islamic Republic who are working hard to carry out their difficult mission. No one should weaken them, insult them, or consider them compromisers,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in an address to thousands of students in Tehran on Sunday, one day before the 13th of Aban.
The 13th of Aban in the Iranian calendar, which corresponds to November 4, is Iran’s national day of struggle against the global arrogance (imperialist powers) and the anniversary of the university students’ seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, which was called the Den of Spies. It was also the anniversary of the exile of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini, in 1964.
In his speech, the Leader said that he was not optimistic about the upcoming negotiations, but added, “With God's permission, we will not be harmed by these negotiations. The (diplomatic) move will be an experience and probably a beneficial move. If the negotiations reach a conclusion, then all the better, but if they do not, it will mean that the country must stand on its own feet to resolve the problems.”
Diplomatic efforts are necessary, he said, noting, “Reliance on domestic potential does not mean the rejection of diplomacy. But it must be noted that the diplomatic move is only part of the task, and the main point is to rely on domestic potential, which can bring strength and dignity during the negotiations.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also criticized the United States for imposing sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and advised the negotiating team to never trust the enemy. “I once again repeat my previous statement. We should not trust an enemy that smiles.”
“On the one hand, they (the Americans) smile and say they are eager to negotiate, but on the other hand they say all options are on the table,” the Leader stated.
“The nuclear issue is only a pretext. And if… the issue is resolved through our retreat, they will find dozens of other pretexts, such as our missile achievements, the opposition of the Iranian nation to the Zionist regime, and the Islamic Republic’s support for the resistance, to continue their hostility toward Iran.”
Iran will resume negotiations with the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in Geneva on Thursday.