Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned the West that it will never "bring Iran to its knees" in negotiations on a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program.
"In the nuclear issue, arrogants have made their best to bring Iran to its knees, but they were not able and will not be able to do so," a November 25 posting on a Twitter account that Iran experts believe is run by Khamenei's office said.
Khamenei repeated the message in an address to clerics later in the day, saying: "On the nuclear issue, the United States and European colonist countries gathered and applied their entire efforts to bring the Islamic republic to its knees, but they could not and they will not."
The remarks came a day after six global powers and Iran set a new July 1 deadline for a final deal following talks that failed to produce an agreement that would rein in Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions.
They may be meant as a signal that while Iran will continue the negotiations, which are set to resume next month and aim for a political agreement by March 1, it has not sacrificed its interests or its security for the sake of a deal and will not do so in the future.
Khamenei has backed the talks so far, though some in the West have expressed doubt about his commitment to seeking an agreement.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on November 24, after the announcement the talks would be continued into next year, that Iran "has achieved a significant victory" and that "negotiations will lead to a deal" sooner or later.
Rohani said progress had been made at the most recent round of talks in Vienna, saying that many "gaps" had "been eliminated."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on November 25 that he had seen a "will to find agreement that I hadn't felt in previous talks."
He said there had been "certain movement" on efforts to limit Iran's capacity to enrich uranium -- a crucial issue because uranium can be used to fuel power plants or make nuclear weapons, depending on the level of enrichment.
Iran has repeatedly said that its nuclear program is meant for exclusively peaceful purposes, mainly power generation, and that it will not relinquish the right to enrich uranium.
Under the terms of limited agreements reached on November 24 in Vienna, a political accord is to be completed by March 1, with final details contained in annexes to be agreed by July 1.
During that time, Iran will be allowed to continue accessing about $700 million per month in frozen assets.
Iran has had some relief from economic sanctions under an interim deal forged last November by Tehran and the six global powers negotiating with it -- the United states, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany.
The European Union on November 25 extended a freeze on certain sanctions against Iran until June 30, 2015.
The widely expected extension includes the suspension of bans on the insuring of oil transport, gold trade, and certain financial transfers.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa