The Iranian ambassador to Italy says Washington’s recent proposal for direct talks with Tehran is totally unrealistic.
“[US President Barack] Obama’s proposal to hold talks with Iran is inconsistent with the facts, and the hostile actions of the Obama administration have also exceeded those of the [George W.] Bush administration,” Ambassador Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said in Rome, IRNA reported on Friday.
He added that Washington must “prove its good faith in practice and stop its anti-Iran moves” if it wants to enter into direct talks with the Islamic Republic.
Over the past few years, the United States has taken a number of anti-Iran measures, i.e., about 27 executive orders and directives and congressional acts, Hosseini said.
The Iranian ambassador also rejected Washington’s claims that its unilateral sanctions, which have affected the import of pharmaceuticals and food to Iran, do not target the Iranian people.
At the 49th annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 2, US Vice President Joe Biden said Washington was ready to hold direct talks with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.
However, he noted that “there will be continued pressure and isolation,” insisting that if Iran abandons “the illicit nuclear program” and “support for terrorism, there will be meaningful incentives.”
In a strong response, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei dismissed the idea of talks with the US under pressure and threats.
“I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary and speak frankly, honestly, and firmly. An offer of talks makes sense only when the side [that makes the offer] shows its goodwill,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with officials and commanders of the Iranian Air Force in Tehran on February 7.
“You (the Americans) point the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we pull the trigger! You should know that pressure and negotiations don’t go together and that the [Iranian] nation will not be intimidated by such things,” the Leader added.
On February 6, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran’s energy sector in a new attempt to force the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear energy program.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.