Threats won't work, try respect
Iran waved away US President Donald Trump's claims that talks with the country's leaders were imminent, saying "threats, sanctions and PR stunts won't work".
With Washington pulling out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and set to reimpose full sanctions on Iran from August 6, Tehran has responded coolly to Trump's offer on Monday to talk "any time" without preconditions.
"Threats, sanctions & PR stunts won't work. Try respect: for Iranians & for (international) commitments," tweeted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The Revolutionary Guards also made their opposition to talks clear.
"The Iranian people do not authorise officials to meet the Great Satan... Mr Trump, Iran is not North Korea," said General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Guards, in an open letter published in local media.
Trump told a rally in Tampa, Florida earlier on Tuesday: "I have a feeling they'll be talking to us pretty soon... And maybe not, and that's OK too."
He used the occasion to again blast the "horrible, one-sided" 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers which he abandoned in May.
"It's a horror show," Trump said. "I hope it works out well with Iran. They are having a lot of difficulty right now."
There was not yet an official response from the top leadership, but supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a fortnight ago that talks with Trump would be "useless."
Scepticism is indeed rife in Tehran over Trump's latest tactic, with one high-profile lawmaker saying negotiations would be a "humiliation."
Despite the rejection, many Iranians are deeply concerned that sanctions could tip the country into a major crisis.
The biggest sign of the crisis so far has been the collapse of the currency, which has lost two-thirds of its value since the start of the year, including a near-20-percent drop on Sunday and Monday alone.
The rial rallied slightly after Trump's offer of talks, but still stood at 109,000 to the dollar on Wednesday morning -- a figure that would have seemed incredible even a few months ago.
Several Iranian public figures said it was impossible to imagine negotiations with Washington after all the hostility of recent months.
"Iran & US had 2 yrs of talks. With EU/E3+Russia+China, we produced a unique multilateral accord -- the JCPOA (nuclear deal). It's been working. US can only blame itself for pulling out & leaving the table," Zarif wrote on Twitter.
The Trump administration says its "maximum pressure campaign" is designed to force Iran into a new deal that goes beyond limiting its nuclear program and includes curbs to its regional behaviour and missile program.