Iran’s Supreme Leader the Ayatollah Khamenei announced at the end of last week that a recent overture by the U.S. for bilateral negotiations was not in good faith and insisted the country would not negotiate a deal while it was being placed under pressure.
The Ayatollah said that the U.S. was pointing a gun at the Islamic Republic and expects Iran to negotiate. However, he said the U.S. should know that negotiation and pressure are not compatible with one another. He said that Iran would not be intimidated.
In early February, Joseph Biden, the U.S. Vice President said Washington was prepared to have direct talks over the nuclear program with Iran. Biden also said now it was up to Iran to make a decision showing that the U.S. was acting in good faith.
The Ayatollah said that it did not make sense to speak on one hand about negotiations, while on the other hand increasing the pressure and threats against Iran.
Washington has recently tightened its sanction against Tehran attempting to limit the ability of Iran to transfer revenues from oil sales from different banks abroad.
The Iranian leader said the U.S. wants to paralyze the people of Iran with their sanctions and that by itself is a sign there is not good faith on the part of the U.S. He also said U.S. officials want direct negotiations with Iran because U.S. policies in the rest of the Middle East have been failures.
The Ayatollah said once both sides enter on equal footing and show goodwill the negotiations over the nuclear program could begin in a meaningful way.