Iran would never negotiate its nuclear research program with Washington, said the visiting Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh late on Wednesday in Caracas.
"We are never going to negotiate the cycle of nuclear fuel that we have been able to achieve with the efforts of our country's scientists," said the minister, who was in Venezuela for an OPEC meeting, at an interview with the local television station Telesur.
Regarding the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's latest remarks that the United States would join the European Union (EU) in the talks with Iran as soon as Iran suspended its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, the minister said what Rice had said was just "words the American authorities always repeat."
In a major U.S. policy shift, Rice had said earlier on Wednesday that "to underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution and to enhance prospects for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the U.S. will come to the table."
The Iranian minister also blamed Washington for boosting oil prices, saying the recent price hike was linked to Washington's "constant threats" against Iran.
The EU has put forward a package of both incentives, including providing a light-water reactor to Iran, and possible penalties if Tehran fails to cooperate.