Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced his support yesterday for Iran’s talks with world powers over its disputed nuclear program, while simultaneously expressing pessimism about them.
“No one should see our negotiating team as compromisers,” Khamenei, Iran’s top decisionmaker on its nuclear drive, was quoted as saying on his official Web site.
“I am not optimistic about the [nuclear] negotiations, but, with the grace of God, we will not suffer losses either,” he added.
A new round of talks between Iranian negotiators and representatives from the so-called P5+1 group of world powers is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday.
The second meeting since moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office in August, the talks are aimed at curbing Iran’s sensitive nuclear work in exchange for a relief from international sanctions strangling Iran’s economy.
All decisions on the nuclear program, which the West suspects is a military drive despite repeated Iranian denials, rest with Khamenei.
“All the better if the negotiations bear fruit, but if there are no results, the country should rely on itself,” Khamenei said.
“The Americans smile and express desire for negotiation; on the other hand, they immediately say that all options are on the table. We should not trust a smiling enemy,” he said.