Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei advised the government last July not to tie the improvement of Iranian economy to something that is “out of our control”.
He was referring to the proposed European package to protect the Islamic Republic against US sanctions, months after Washington withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal with Tehran and reinstated sanctions.
The Europeans would naturally say they are protecting Iranian interests with their package "but (the Iranian government) should not make this a main issue," Ayatollah Khamenei said in remarks published on his official website on Monday.
The release of Ayatollah Khamenei's speech nine months after his meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet showed the Leader was not optimistic about the efforts to save the nuclear deal.
Iran and six major world powers signed the nuclear deal in 2015 – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after more than a decade of negotiations. Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations were lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on its nuclear program.
The Leader said that the nuclear deal did not resolve “any of economic problems” of Iran, and predicted that the mechanism proposed by Europeans, who remained committed despite the US exit, to shield business with Iran against the US sanctions would not also be a solution to economic hardship.
"Do not tie the Iranian economy to something that is out of our control," the Leader said.
“One day we tied all of the country’s economic issues to the JCPOA and the JCPOA could not resolve our country’s economic issues or help us in any significant way,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei warned last month the government not to be deceived by European countries, and their "smiles".
The Leader also advised the government to avoid conditioning people to the European package. "Don’t make this a main issue; either the European package arrives or it doesn’t."
"We have things to do in our country, we have potentials and these potentials need to materialize. Follow those potentials, don’t tie economic enhancement to something that is not in our control.”
France, Germany and Britain opened a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran in January, although diplomats say it is unlikely to allow for the big transactions that Tehran says it needs to keep a nuclear deal afloat.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi praised on Monday the proposed European mechanism, known as Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) as a "late but important step".
Qassemi, however, warned, that Iran will not accept any conditions from the Europeans.
"The European countries know we do not accept conditions and we do not seek permission for our foreign policy."
France has called on Iran to stop all activities linked to ballistic missiles or face sanctions.
Iran has threatened to pull out of the 2015 deal itself unless the European powers enable it to receive economic benefits. The Europeans have promised to help companies do business with Iran as long as it abides by the deal.
Washington says that although Iran has met the terms, the accord was too generous, failing to rein in Iran’s ballistic missile program or curb its regional activities.
New US sanctions have largely scared away European companies from doing business with Iran.
Khamenei.ir, Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.