FILE -In this Nov. 9, 2013, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, third left, meets with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, center, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, third right, at the Iran Nuclear talks in Geneva, Switzerland. Since the start of talks on Iran's nuclear program, Iran has asserted it has a right to enrich uranium — and the United States has disagreed. Both have refused to budge over nearly a decade of negotiations. Until now. Iran has suddenly gone public with a significant concession just days ahead of a new round of talks starting Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013 with six world powers in Geneva. It still insists that it has a right to the program, but it now says that the six no longer need to publicly acknowledge its claim, opening a way to sidestep the dispute and focus on more practical steps both sides can agree on. The talks begin with a series of meetings Wednesday evening and are scheduled to go into Friday.( AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool, File)
(The Associated Press)
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's supreme leader says pressure from economic sanctions will never force the country into unwelcome concessions as nuclear negotiators resumed talks with world powers.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also blasted U.S. government policies, including threats of military action, but said Iran has "no animosity'" toward the American people and seeks "friendly" relations.
Wednesday's message appeared tailored in part for Khamenei's hard-line audience as he spoke to members of the paramilitary Basij force, which is controlled by the powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Khamenei's remarks also reflect Iran's internal divisions over the nuclear talks and outreach to the U.S. by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, who has the backing of Khamenei.
Talks resume later Wednesday in Geneva over a possible nuclear deal that could lift some sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program.