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Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected the prospect of talks with the United States on the nuclear program, saying nothing would be gained, state television reported Tuesday.
"Negotiations with the United States would have no benefit for us, and we do not need them," the television quoted Khamenei as telling Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.
The United States has said that if Iran accepts the package of incentives offered earlier this month, it would join its European partners and take part in negotiations with the Teheran government over a framework for its nuclear program.
The Washington move was seen as a major concession as the US lists Iran as a sponsor of international terrorism and there have been no diplomatic relations between the two countries since 1979, when militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took Americans hostage for 444 days.
The package of incentives seeks to persuade Iran to place a long-term moratorium on the enrichment of uranium, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear generators or the material for nuclear warheads. Iran has long refused to backdown on its enrichment program, saying it has a right to the peaceful exploitation of nuclear energy.
"We do not negotiate with anybody on achieving and exploiting nuclear technology," the TV quoted Khamenei as saying. "But if they recognize our nuclear rights, we are ready to negotiate about controls, supervisions and international guarantees."
Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, said that the West would misuse such a negotiating process to put pressure on the country.