Leader: Tehran Wields Wherewithal to Withstand US Pressure
EghtesadOnline: Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Iran has the required levers against the United States and will use them to counter the American pressure.
"These tools, unlike what they [Americans] propagate, are not military, although they [military tools] are available if need be," he said, addressing a gathering of academicians in Tehran on Wednesday, the Leader’s website reported.
The US restored sanctions and has been intensifying pressures on Tehran since its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal last year, with the aim of forcing Iran to negotiate a new deal. Iran has refused to enter talks, opting to find ways of resisting the threats.
"If levers are used properly, the American pressure will be reduced or eliminated, but if we are tricked by the 'call for negotiation', the result would be a slide and a definite loss," Financial Tribune quoted the Leader as saying.
According to Ayatollah Khamenei, the recent decision by the Supreme National Security Council to reduce commitments under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was among the means of counteraction.
In response to the intensifying US measures, Iran stopped complying with two of its obligations and gave the remaining parties a 60-day deadline to act toward protecting the country against the sanctions.
"The lever currently used is the recent directive of the Supreme National Security Council, but we will not stop at this point and at the next stage, if need be, we will use other tools," he said.
The Leader said if such instruments are not used in time, the other side would pursue its plans without haste, knowing there will be no consequences or damage.
US Talks Impossible
US President Donald Trump said on Monday he was hopeful Iran would come to the negotiating table to reach a new deal.
“I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal ... and I think that’s a possibility to happen.”
The Leader stressed that Iran would not be deceived by such a strategy.
"Iran will absolutely not negotiate with the US … because it has no benefit and carries harm," he said, although pointing out that Iran had no problem negotiating with Europeans and other countries.
A negotiation, he added, entails compromises and “the revolution's fundamental values” such as the country's defense power are not negotiable because Iran cannot make concessions on them.
"Negotiation will be summed up in two words, they say we have these demands and we say no and the session ends," he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei explained that Washington's only tactic to reach its purposes is to use "pressure" for exhausting the other side, and later offering "negotiation" as a supplement to complete its plan.
"It is not in fact a negotiation, but a tool to reap the harvest of the pressure."
Ayatollah Khamenei also reiterated that despite advanced nuclear knowledge, Iran is not after building atomic weapons because weapons of mass destruction, whether nuclear or chemical, are banned by Islamic law.
“Producing such weapons for storage is also deemed illogical because they carry a huge cost and will never be used,” the Leader said.
"Nevertheless, we need nuclear enrichment because it is needed for the future of the country. If we don't expand our capabilities today, 10 years from now, we will have to start from scratch."