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  • meanwhile, in the middle east    July 3 
Iran's foreign minister to Obama: 'Let's try mutual respect'

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is taking a tough approach to talks about the country's nuclear program.

Zarif posted an English-language YouTube video on Wednesday in anticipation of the July 20 expiration of November's interim agreement, which paused Iran's nuclear program in exchange for eased international sanctions.

"Iranians are allergic to pressure," Zarif says in the video. "Let's try mutual respect."

Zarif cites attacks on Iran's nuclear program that include "the murder of our nuclear scientists" and "the sabotage of our facilities," in addition to "military threats" from the U.S. Meanwhile, officials from the Obama administration want Iran to "dismantle several thousand of its roughly 10,000 centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium into a more fissile form," Time reports.

The Obama administration began talks with Iran last fall in the hopes of reaching an agreement to trade sanctions relief for limits on Iran's ability to build a nuclear bomb. Zarif's video, however, suggests that Iran is pessimistic a deal with be reached by the July 20 deadline.

"To those who continue to believe that sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table, I can only say that pressure has only been tried for the past eight years... It didn't bring the Iranian people to kneel in submission and it will not now, nor in the future," Zarif says in the video. Watch Zarif's speech below. --Meghan DeMaria

 
 
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