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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, tweeted his outrage Saturday over talks with the U.S. over his nation’s nuclear weapons research.
“We reject fraudulent offer of reaching w #Iran first than lifting sanctions,” Khamenei tweeted. “Lifting sanctions is a part of deal, not its outcome.”
“#US sanctions are ineffective,” he continued. “Threatening to sanction or military action won’t scare #Iran-ians. God backs Iranian nation’s resistance.”
The Ayatollah’s remarks come amid a break in negotiations between Tehran and the West that began Friday. Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryEgypt’s death squads and America's deafening silence With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach Ellison comments on Obama criticized as 'a stupid thing to say' MORE noted “substantial progress” in bargaining Saturday but said a deal is not done yet.
Khamenei refuted Kerry’s comments Saturday. The Ayatollah said his people would not accept U.S “bullying” during the talks.
“#Iran prefers to stand on its own,” he tweeted. “US seeks regional instability & dismantlement of Islamic awakening by arming terrorist groups. #ISIS”
“They falsely claim to support ppl of #Iran while via economy they seek to deprive Iranian nation of security which is unique in West Asia,” he added.
The diplomatic process ground to a halt Friday after the death of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s mother. Kerry expressed “deep condolences” for Rouhani’s loss during the same day.
The U.S. is hoping Iran will slow or stop its work acquiring nuclear arms in exchange for reduced economic sanctions. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are aiding U.S. efforts at the bargaining table.
President Obama on Friday called French President Francois Hollande to discuss a snag in the discussions over sanctions on Iran. France wants only a “symbolic easing” of economic restrictions on Tehran from the deal.
Reports leaked last week that a tentative agreement would limit Iran’s nuclear centrifuge supply to 6,000 centrifuges, down from Iran’s roughly 10,000 centrifuges now.
The White House on Friday said it expects it can reach a deal with Iran’s government by month’s end.
Negotiations resume in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week.
“#IranTalks to resume in few days; final steps are always hardest in negotiations as both sides have to compromise to reach a win-win outcome,” Rouhani tweeted Saturday.
- Updated at 1:25 p.m.