Ayatollah Khamenei said on Wednesday that he has told Iranian diplomats to proceed with the negotiations, but cautioned them the talks should not drag on as this is harmful to the country, Press TV reported.
The Leader made the remarks during an online speech to mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. The ceremony was broadcast live on the state radio and television channels, as well as the Leader's official website, KHAMENEI.IR.
“The fact that the Americans talk about engaging in direct and indirect negotiations [with Iran] is not because they want to negotiate and accept the truth, rather it is to impose their wrongful argument” on Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei noted.
An Iranian delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi is in Vienna, Austria, for another round of talks with the P4+1 countries – the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany-- aimed at finding a way for the United States to rejoin the nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The United States, under former president Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew participation in the agreement and reimposed sanctions against Iran that the accord had lifted.
The Trump administration subsequently launched what it called a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, hoping to force the Islamic Republic to accept large-scale limits on its nuclear program and missile work, among other things.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has verbally renounced that policy and admitted to its failure, while expressing a willingness to return to the 2015 Iran deal. However, it has so far stopped short of taking any concrete steps to that end and retained the sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the Islamic Republic’s position on the issue, that the United States -- as the party that has repeatedly reneged on its obligations in the past-- must first remove the sanctions, is privately shared by some Europeans involved in the talks.
“However, when it comes to decision-making, they bow to the Americans and do not act independently,” the Leader said.