Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the country should "immunize" itself against international sanctions.
Addressing a crowd at his residence in Tehran on January 7, Khamenei maintained a confrontational stance as Iran and world powers prepare to resume negotiations on January 18 over Iran's nuclear program.
"What would you do if they set a condition for lifting the sanctions that would compromise your [national] pride?" he said. "No official would accept it. Efforts must be made to immunize Iran against the sanctions."
The United Nations and Western countries, fearing Tehran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, have imposed sanctions that have harmed Iran's economy.
Iranian officials have called for the adoption of a "resistance economy" with less reliance on imports.
After years of talks, Tehran and the so-called P5+1 group --- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France, plus Germany -- have set a new deadline on July 1 for a permanent deal that would limit Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions.
"I am not against the nuclear talks," Khamenei said, but he added that Iran "cannot trust an enemy like America."
"Let them talk all they want, but they must negotiate based on reality, not on imaginary points," he added.
Khamenei had expressed support in the past for the nuclear talks and for Iran's nuclear negotiating team led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Khamenei, who has the final say in the Islamic republic, called for unity on January 7 and told government officials to avoid disputes.
"The creation of division and polarity between people, under any title or with any justification, is against [Iran's] national interests and ideals," he said.