Ahmad Khatami also told worshippers attending Eid prayers in Tehran that President Donald Trump's offer for direct talks with Iranian leaders was unacceptable.
"Americans say you should accept what we say in the talks. So this is not negotiation, but dictatorship. The Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation would stand up against dictatorship," Khatami was quoted as saying by Mizan news agency.
Khatami — who is also a member of Iran's Council of Experts, which is tasked with designating and dismissing the country's supreme leader — is known for his hardline positions on a number of issues. He previously supported the call for a death sentence for author Salman Rushdie, denounced student protesters who partook in Iran's 2009 election protests as "enemies of God," and in 2006 asked Pope Benedict XVI to "fall on his knees in front of a senior Muslim cleric and try to understand Islam." For a senior Iranian cleric, his comments are not particularly surprising.
After imposing wide-ranging sanctions on Tehran following withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which lifted economic restrictions on the country in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, Trump has offered talks with Iran's leadership without preconditions. Tehran has so far rejected the idea.