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Iran’s Khamenei says nuclear talks will ‘lead nowhere’

Iran is set to resume talks on Tuesday with the P5+1 powers aimed at reaching an agreement on its controversial nuclear program

Published: Updated:

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that he expects nuclear talks will “lead nowhere,” but added that he is not against a resumption of negotiations with the world’s major powers.

“Some of the officials of the previous government as well as the officials of this government think the problem will be resolved if they negotiate the nuclear issue,” Khamenei said in remarks published on his website Khamenei.ir.

“I repeat it again that I am not optimistic about the negotiations and they will lead nowhere, but I am not against them,” he added.

Iran is set to resume talks on Tuesday in Vienna with the P5+1 powers - Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany - aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord on its controversial nuclear program following a landmark interim deal reached in November, Agence France-Presse reported.

As per the interim deal, Iran agreed to freeze some nuclear activities for six months in exchange for modest sanctions relief.

Western powers and Israel have long accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian program. Those charges are denied by Tehran.

In his speech on Monday, Khamenei said Iran would abide by its pledge to pursue the negotiations.

“The work that has been started by the foreign ministry will continue and Iran will not violate its commitment, but I repeat it again, it will lead to nowhere,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is leading Tehran’s negotiating team, arrived in Vienna on Monday. He is scheduled to meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton over a working dinner.

Iranian media reported the negotiations would officially begin at 0830 GMT on Tuesday.

(With AFP)