TEHRAN – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says he is not optimistic about the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers but is not opposed to them.
“Some officials in the previous administration and some current administration officials believe that the issue will be resolved if we hold talks with the United States on the nuclear program. I said I am not opposed to talks on the nuclear issue due to their insistence, but I also said at the time that I am not optimistic,” Ayatollah Khamenei said during a meeting with a number of people from Tabriz and other cities of East Azarbaijan Province in Tehran on Monday.
“Signs discouraging optimism are emerging, and cheap and insulting remarks by U.S. officials and senators about the Iranian nation are a clear indication,” the Leader stated.
He added, “What the Foreign Ministry and administration officials have started with regard to the nuclear talks will continue, and Iran will not violate what it has started, but all people should be aware of the fact that the U.S. is hostile toward the Islamic Revolution and Islam, and this hostility will not end through negotiations.”
He stated that the nuclear issue is only a pretext, adding that if the nuclear issue were to be resolved, the United States would raise other issues.
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are scheduled to start talks on a comprehensive nuclear deal in Vienna on Tuesday.
Tehran and the six major powers clinched an interim deal in Geneva on November 24, 2013, according to which Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
The Geneva agreement was designed to provide time to negotiate a comprehensive solution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.
The six-month interim agreement came into force on January 20.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the people’s massive and glorious participation in the demonstrations held across the country on the 22nd of the Iranian calendar month of Bahman (February 11) to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and said that the people turned out in large numbers for the demonstrations to give a response to U.S. officials’ rudeness and unreasonable demands so that they will not make a miscalculation in dealing with the Iranian nation.
“The message of the Bahman 22 demonstrations for all officials… was that the Iranian nation is resilient and officials should not feel weakness in dealing with the enemy,” he said.