Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has asserted that negotiating does not mean giving in to the enemy.
"Not surrendering to the enemies is one of the principles of the Islamic revolution. However, holding talks and negotiating with the enemy at a certain juncture does not mean surrendering. We have never surrendered so far, and we never will," Khamenei said.
In his speech, Khamenei did not directly address the Vienna talks, but it is the first time he has approached the negotiations in general since their resumption in late November, according to Agence France Presse.
The Supreme Leader delivered a speech on the anniversary of the people of Qom's uprising against the Pahlavi regime in 1977.
State agencies reported that Khamenei refused to give up the slogan "Death to America," implicitly criticizing those who say that this slogan created hostility between the US regime and Iran.
Khamenei said: "America's deep hostility and spite toward Iran stems from the Iranian people's revolutionary, religious viewpoint on the current issues of the world. That is why the US, the leading "arrogant power," opposes the Islamic Republic of Iran."
"It is another thing to negotiate, talk and interact with the enemy, but we have not and will not give in to the enemy's coercion and words. They want to undermine this, and they want to downplay these salient principles. This is part of the extensive, diverse soft war of the enemy they are pursuing."
He warned that the enemies are trying to erode Iranians' responsiveness to the principles of the Islamic revolution through a massive propaganda campaign on cyberspace and foreign-based media.
The Supreme Leader called on intellectuals, academics, and social media activists to "confront the plan."
Khamenei also commented on the assassination of Qassem Soleimani on its second anniversary, saying it was a miscalculation by the United States.
Iran returned to the Vienna talks to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on its nuclear program.
The negotiations include France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany, while the United States participates indirectly in these talks.