Speaking at a meeting with Iranian Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Mansour Gholami in the central city of Qom on Tuesday, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi pointed to the US moves against the Islamic Republic and said, “The American statesmen (wrongly) think that the economic pressure would bring the Iranian people to their knees and force us to return to the negotiating table, which is just an illusion.”
The cleric further emphasized that negotiation with the US, which is not committed to any of its obligations, is not rational and logical.
He went on to say that problems caused by the enemies’ sanctions can be resolved through the resistance of the people and officials.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that Washington was prepared for unconditional talks with Iran.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.