The West "keeps saying pressure against Iran is aimed at forcing the Islamic Republic to return to the negotiating table" about its nuclear program, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in remarks carried on state television.
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"But when did we leave the table that now we need to return?" he asked during his visit to the northeastern province of North Khorasan.
"Their real objective is (forcing) the Iranian nation to surrender to their bullying at the negotiating table...(but) you are too weak to bring Iran to its knees," Khamenei said.
His remarks came a day after the European Union toughened sanctions against Tehran, targeting its dealings with Iran's banks, shipping and gas imports and banning trade in metals.
Without directly mentioning the sanctions, Khamenei accused the European leaders of seeking to bully Iran.
"European officials are still stuck in the bullying mindset of the colonial 19th century, but they will face many problems in the face of the resistance of the Iranian nation and officials," he said.
On Monday, European governments agreed on further sanctions against Iran's banking, shipping and industrial sectors, cranking up financial pressure on Tehran in the hope of drawing it into serious negotiations on its nuclear program.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman described the new sanctions as "illegal, unwise and inhuman."
AP and AFP contributed to this report
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