Khamenei was speaking hours before the resumption of talks between
Iran and the European Union in Geneva.
"We had announced previously that on certain issues, if we feel it
is expedient, we would negotiate with the Satan (the United States)
to deter its evil," Khamenei told a gathering, reported by the
official IRNA news agency.
"The nuclear talks showed the enmity of America against Iran,
Iranians, Islam and Muslims."
Iran and the EU hold talks in Geneva on Thursday to discuss the
practical details of implementing a nuclear agreement reached in
Geneva in November. U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political
Affairs Wendy Sherman is also due to take part.
The Geneva deal was designed to halt Iran's nuclear advances for six
months to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement. Scope for
diplomacy widened after Iran elected the pragmatic Hassan Rouhani as
president in June. He had promised to reduce Tehran's isolation and
win an easing of sanctions.
Despite fierce criticism by political and religious hardliners, who
see the agreement as an infringement of Iranian sovereignty,
Khamenei had previously backed the accord.
Under the deal, Iran will curb its atomic activities in return for
some easing of the international sanctions that have battered the
oil producer's economy.
Iran says its nuclear work is entirely peaceful but the West
suspects it is aimed at acquiring a nuclear bomb capability.
NOT PRESSURED BY SANCTIONS
Iran is under U.N., U.S. and European Union sanctions for refusing
to heed U.N. Security Council demands that it halt all enrichment-
and plutonium-related work at its nuclear sites.
Khamenei said international sanctions imposed on Iran had not
pressured the Islamic state to enter negotiations with major powers.
"Our enemies do not know the great Iranian nation. They think that
their imposed sanctions forced Iran to enter negotiations. No, it is
a wrong," Khamenei said.
Sanctions, though, are clearly having an
impact, the country's oil revenue has been slashed and other trade
[to top of second column]
Nuclear experts from Iran and the six powers have held several
rounds of talks since November 24 to resolve various technical
issues before the interim deal can be put into place.
The experts have to work out when the accord will be implemented.
Western diplomats and Iranian officials say the six powers and Iran
want to start implementing the deal on January 20.
"First the interim agreement needs to be implemented. I think that
by the end of January, or at least I hope, it will be implemented.
That's the interim period," said French Foreign Minister Laurent
Fabius on Wednesday.
Diplomats told Reuters on Wednesday that the nuclear talks on
implementing the landmark November deal have run into problems over
advanced centrifuge research, highlighting the huge challenges
facing Iran and the six powers in negotiating the precise terms of
Iran says centrifuge research is crucial. Centrifuges purify uranium
for use as fuel in atomic power plants or, if purified further,
If the talks succeed, they plan to start talks on a long-term deal
to resolve a more than decade-long dispute over Tehran's nuclear
"The biggest problem will be the next phase because the question
that hasn't been dealt with is: Do our Iranians partners want to
just suspend production that could lead to them having a nuclear
weapon or do they accept to give it up completely?," Fabius said.
"Obviously, the second option is what's acceptable, because the
first none of the P5+1 will accept."
(Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris;
writing by Parisa
Hafezi; editing by William Maclean and Ralph Boulton)
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