Iran will not negotiate with the West over its presence in the Middle East, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Thursday, a few days after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian sought to raise Tehran's role in regional conflicts.
"European countries come (to Tehran) and say we want to negotiate with Iran over its presence in the region. It is none of your business. It is our region. Why are you here?" Khamenei was quoted as saying by his official website.
He said Tehran would only negotiate on that issue with other states in the region.
"We will negotiate with America when we want to be present in America," he added.
Le Drian flew to Tehran on Monday with a brief to reaffirm European support for a 2015 nuclear deal while echoing US concern about Tehran's missile program and its influence in the region.
Many countries in the region have expressed concern over the role of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which have sent thousands of soldiers to Syria in support of the regime, and over Tehran’s support for Houthi insurgents in Yemen.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran's military might posed no threat to any country in the region.
"Our weapons are meant to promote peace, strengthen stability and security and to prevent others from invading our country. No one should be concerned about Iran's weapons and missiles," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the state media.