Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran has rejected an offer of direct talks made by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. In a speech to air force commanders on February 7, Khamenei said such talks "will not solve anything." He also said Americans wanted to negotiate while "pointing the gun at Iran."
cartoon by rmay
Speaking last week at a security conference in Munich, Biden offered to engage Iran directly to resolve the standoff over Iran's disputed nuclear program, provided the Iranian leadership was "serious" about negotiations.
Khamenei's remarks came a day after the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran to further squeeze its access to oil revenues.
The West believes the goal of Iran's nuclear program is to build atomic weapons.
Tehran says it only wants nuclear energy to produce electricity.
Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2013 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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