TEHRAN, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) — Iran’s former foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said that Iran will not enter negotiations with the United States under pressures, semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday.
Iran is under a number of unilateral Western sanctions on its oil and financial sectors over its controversial nuclear program.
The U.S. Senate on Friday overwhelmingly approved expanded sanctions on Iran’s energy, port, shipping and ship-building sectors.
The sanctions will penalize transactions with Iran’s energy, port, shipping and ship-building sectors and target individuals who sell or supply materials, such as graphite, aluminum and steel, to Iran.
The measures will also slap sanctions on those who purchase Iran’s oil with precious metals, including gold, in an effort to prevent Tehran from circumventing the existing economic sanctions.
“The Americans think that pressures can sway Iran and they can bring the Iranian nation and government to their knees, but the guidelines of (Iran’s) supreme leader have prevented the country’s defeat in confrontation against pressures and plots,” Mottaki was quoted as saying on Saturday.
Washington’s continued animosity towards Tehran has killed opportunities for talks between the two arch foes, he said according to Fars.
On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that the United States was ready for bilateral talks with Iran over the country’s nuclear program.
She said that the U.S. was working with members of P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations plus Germany), over Iran’s nuclear issue and also was open to have bilateral negotiations if Tehran was “ever ready.”
In November, Hossein Naqavi-Hosseini, spokesman for Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said that if the U.S. government sought to hold talks with Iran, it had to prove its goodwill at the very least through measures such as delaying sanctions.
The United States and its Western allies have accused Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear program, a charge Tehran has consistently denied.
Iran insists the Western countries should acknowledge its right to a nuclear development program and remove sanctions. The West, in turn, demands Iran cease its uranium-processing activities.
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