TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s supreme leader says pressure from economic sanctions will never force the country into unwelcome concessions as nuclear negotiators resumed talks with world powers.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also blasted U.S. government policies, including threats of military action, but said Iran has “no animosity”’ toward the American people and seeks “friendly” relations.
Wednesday’s message appeared tailored in part for Khamenei’s hard-line audience as he spoke to members of the paramilitary Basij force, which is controlled by the powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Khamenei’s remarks also reflect Iran’s internal divisions over the nuclear talks and outreach to the U.S. by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who has the backing of Khamenei.
Talks resume later Wednesday in Geneva over a possible nuclear deal that could lift some sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.