Last update 11:56:33 AM
The Iranian regime's Supreme Leader, who has final say over all state matters within the regime, on Wednesday dismissed the value of direct talks with the U.S. in his first remarks on meetings between his regime officials with Americans dating back to secret talks that began in 2012.
Addressing the regime's Foreign Ministry officials Wednesday, Khamenei criticized the U.S., saying direct talks didn't help reduce sanctions or decrease its animosity toward the regime.
"Some pretended that if we sit down with Americans at the negotiating table, many of the problems will be resolved. We knew that won't be the case but developments in the past year proved this reality once again," state-run TV quoted Khamenei as saying.
"Americans not only didn't reduce animosity but increased sanctions. They say these are not new sanctions but in fact they are new. Talks about sanctions didn't bear any benefits."
Khamenei called ties and negotiations with U.S. harmful outside of very specific cases.
Wednesday, Khamenei said he supported Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his nuclear negotiation team.
"We don't ban the continuation of nuclear talks and the job that Dr. Zarif and his friends began and have moved forward properly," Khamenei said. But "sitting down and talking to Americans has absolutely no effect on reducing their animosity and it's fruitless."