TEHRAN, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Iran's supreme leader rejected pressure to negotiate with the United States, saying talks were meaningful only when both sides show goodwill.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said negotiations are worthwhile only when both sides don't try to deceive one another, Iran's government-backed Press TV reported Thursday.
Khamenei accused the United States of, among other things, aiding seditionists and supporting terrorists who have killed Iranian scientists during the past four years.
"You point the gun at Iran and say either negotiations or we pull the trigger," he said. "You should know that pressure and negotiations do not go together, and the [Iranian] nation will not be intimidated by such things."
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said this week the United States was ready to have direct talks with Iran over the country's nuclear program, which Western leaders fear is to develop nuclear weapons while Iran says it is for peaceful purposes.
Addressing Iranian Air Force commanders and personnel in Tehran, Khamenei rejected remarks made by U.S. diplomats that Iran must make the next move, the Fars News Agency said.
"The ball is in your court because you should answer and say if speaking of negotiations concurrent with pressures and threats basically bears any meaning," he said.
Khamenei said the United States needs talks with Iran because the U.S. Middle East policy's lack of success must be reversed, Fars reported.
"Bringing the revolutionary and popular Islamic Republic to the negotiating table is the Americans' winning ace as they want to tell the world that they have goodwill, but no one sees any goodwill [in the Americans]," Khamenei said.
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