The Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said Tehran will not take one step back "one iota" from its nuclear rights, despite diplomats in Geneva proceeding to a third round of talks on the issue.
The spiritual leader said he would not intervene directly in the talks but he had set "red lines" for his negotiators. He said French officials were "not only succumbing to the United States, but they are kneeling before the Israeli regime" and said Iran would "slap aggressors in the face in such a way they will never forget it" without mentioning any specific country.
Khamenei told an audience of Basij militiamen on Wednesday that Tehran wanted friendly ties with all countries, including the US. "We are not hostile to the American nation. They are like other nations in the world," he said.
"Death to America," the militiamen chanted in response.