TEHRAN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday said the Islamic republic is not interested in any talks with the United States under pressure.
Khamenei's remarks came a day after the (Barack) Obama administration expanded the U.S. sanctions on Iran by tightening up economic measures against the Islamic republic and adding more names to its blacklist.
Under key provision of the Iran Threat Reduction that went into effect on Wednesday, the United States will expand the scope of sanctionable transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and other blacklisted Iranian financial institutions, with a view to limiting Iran's ability to use oil revenue held in foreign financial institutions and preventing repatriation of these funds to Iran.
"In addition to effectively 'locking up' Iranian oil revenue overseas, this provision sharply restricts Iran's use of this revenue for bilateral trade and severely limits Iran's ability to move funds across jurisdictions," the U.S. Department of the Treasury said in a statement.
Talking to a group of military officials here on Thursday, Khamenei referred to the recent U.S. proposal of direct talks with the Islamic republic, saying that such negotiation offers are not something new. U.S. officials repeated the same words in the past, but the Iranian nation judged on the basis of what they did in practice, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Four years ago, U.S. officials offered the talks with Iran, and Iranians waited for their approach in practice. However, "during the past four years, nothing was noticed from them but continuation of their plots (against the Islamic republic) and their supports for the terrorists who assassinated Iran's (nuclear) scientists," he was quoted by Fars as saying.
"You impose, as you call it, paralyzing sanctions to paralyze the Iranian nation. Is this a gesture of good-will or ill-will," he maintained.
Last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the United States keeps the door open for direct talks with the Iranian government with regard to its controversial nuclear program.
"We will stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," Biden said, adding that Iran's nuclear weapon must be stopped as it posed " threat to national security of the United States."
However, he added that there existed "time and space" in terms of "successful diplomacy." While a window of time for negotiations will be kept open, Biden said "it would not be unlimited, and by no means would the U.S. stand idly by as a program for atomic bombs is developed."
On Thursday, the Iranian leader emphasized that "talks for the talks' sake" or for "tactical" purposes is a "deceiving" move, according to Fars.
"I am not a diplomat (but) a revolutionary. Therefore, I am talking openly, honestly and determinedly: the offer for the talks makes sense when the (talking) side displays its good-will," said Khamenei.
U.S. officials should know that "pressure and talks cannot go together and the Iranian nation will not be intimidated by such approaches," he stressed.
The United States' failure in the Middle East has prompted Washington to make the offer of negotiating with the Islamic republic, he concluded, according to Press TV.
Also, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that if Washington is keen to hold direct negotiations with the Islamic republic, it should take action to resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, Tehran Times daily reported on Thursday.
"If the Americans are insistent in holding direct talks with Iran, they should take action to resolve the problem they have created with regard to our nuclear activities," said Mehmanparast.
The offer of bilateral talks may show a change in U.S. government's actions, he was quoted as saying.
The West and the Islamic republic are at odds over the country' s controversial nuclear program. Iran's nuclear activities have aroused concerns of the West that the country is making headways in its pursuit for nuclear weapons. However, Iran has repeatedly said its nuclear program has only peaceful goals.
Western countries have imposed increasingly stringent sanctions on Iran since last year to thwart what they say Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power. By doing so, they believe Iran would finally surrender and give up its nuclear program that arguably has a military dimension.
Defiant to the Western sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's pace towards expanding its nuclear activities, the Islamic republic informed the International Atomic Energy Agency last week of its plan to use the new centrifuges, a model called IR2m, at its uranium enriching facilities.
The world powers and the Islamic republic recently agreed with a new round of talks over Iran's nuclear program later this month after months of moratorium.