Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei at NAM 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
DUBAI - A Twitter account Iran experts believe is run by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated criticism of France on Sunday after Paris expressed reservations about a proposed deal to end a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.
A message posted in English on the account @khamenei_ir said: "French officials have been openly hostile towards the Iranian nation over the past few years; this is an imprudent and inept move."
A second tweet said: "A wise man, particularly a wise politician, should never have the motivation to turn a neutral entity into an enemy."
The authenticity of the messages, which appeared to refer to talks in Geneva that ended on Saturday night without clinching a deal
to curb Tehran's nuclear program, could not immediately be confirmed.
The comments appear to cite part of a speech Khamenei gave in March 2013 for Iranian new year, in which he said: "We have never had problems with France and the French government, neither in the past nor in the present era."
"However, since the time of [former President Nicolas] Sarkozy, the French government has adopted a policy of opposing the Iranian nation and unfortunately the current French government is pursuing the same policy. In our opinion, this is a wrong move. It is ill-advised and unwise."
France has traditionally taken a tougher line on Iran than most other world powers and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused it of being more intransigent in talks than the United States.
Earlier Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would not give up what it sees as its right to enrich uranium
in nuclear negotiations and said the Islamic Republic would not bow to "threats" from anyone.
"We will not answer to any threat, sanction, humiliation or discrimination," Rouhani said in a speech at the National Assembly, Iran's student news agency ISNA reported.
"For us there are red lines that cannot be crossed. National interests are our red lines that include our rights under the framework of international regulations and [uranium] enrichment in Iran," he said.
Clear divisions emerged among the US and European allies on the final day of the Geneva talks as France hinted that the proposal under discussion did not sufficiently neutralize the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
Despite the failure of the discussions, Iran and six world powers said differences had narrowed - a softening that may worry Iranian hardliners - and they would resume negotiations in 10 days to try to end the decade-old standoff.