Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States.
“Recently, US officials have been talking blatantly about us. Beside sanctions, they are talking about war and negotiations,” he said. Speaking in a meeting with a large group of Iranian people in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei dismissed talks with the US after President Trump called for direct negotiations with Tehran, saying Washington is only after concessions.
In a clear reference to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, the Leader said, “Why should we sit for negotiations with a bullying [and] cheating regime, which negotiates like this?”
“In this regard, let me say a few words to the people: THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE US.”
Elaborating on Trump’s offer of direct talks with Iranian officials, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Of course, they act upon a threadbare and worthless political game in this regard; one of them says [they want negotiations with Iran] without any preconditions, the other one sets preconditions.”
“Unlike what some people may think in the country, Americans’ request for negotiations is nothing new and has been repeated many times during the past 40 years, but has been met with Iran’s negative answer. Even then American president, Reagan, who was more powerful than the current ones, in the famous case of McFarlane, sent him secretly to Tehran for negotiations, but he returned without any results 24 hours later.”
“They have a special formula for negotiations, which must be understood and then this question must be answered that will any wise person enter into negotiations according to this formula?” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.
The Leader noted, “During negotiations, Americans only give promises using apparently assuring words, but want real concessions from the opposite side and do not accept promises.”
Ayatollah Khamenei draw an example of US’ blatancy in actions and rhetoric, and said, ‘The example of it is that last week, the Saudis committed two crimes: attacking a hospital and attacking a school bus with 40 or 50 innocent children on board. Do you have 8 or 9 year-olds at home? This is a dramatic tragedy. It truly breaks one’s heart.’
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader touched on the country’s current economic problems, noting that while foreign sanctions hurt Iran’s economy, most of the country’s economic problems are the result of internal mismanagement.
“Economic experts and many officials believe the cause of this issue is not foreign, it’s internal. Not that sanctions do not have an impact, but the major impact is related to performances,” the Leader told ordinary Iranians at a meeting in Tehran Monday.
He also noted that the sanctions’ effects can be contained by an efficient management of situation.
Ayatollah Khamenei said, “If the actions [by government officials] are better, more prudent and timely and stronger, the sanctions will not have much effect.”