Khamenei rejects negotiations with US, blames country’s problems on government
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed the country’s woes on mismanagement in the government and says there will be no negotiations with the United States amid fresh sanctions on Tehran by Washington.
“I ban holding any talks with America,” Iran’s Supreme Leader, who has the final say on policy in the Islamic Republic, was quoted as saying by state TV on Monday.
“America never remains loyal to its promises in talks. [Their] withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof that America cannot be trusted,” he continued.
US President Donald Trump had previously said he was prepared to meet with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, albeit before the first stage of sanctions were re-imposed on Iran.
On Aug. 6, the Trump administration announced the re-imposition of economic sanctions on Tehran which had ended when the 2015 nuclear deal was signed.
The initial set of sanctions include a ban on Iran’s acquisition and use of US dollars, trade in gold and other metals, as well as the import into the US of Iranian carpets and pistachios.
The second stage of sanctions, which will take effect on Nov. 5, targets Iran’s oil sector.
Following the US announcement, Rouhani said dialogue with the Trump administration is “pointless,” and demanded compensation for “damages” caused by the western nation’s sanctions.
Khamenei’s remarks on Monday echoed the Iranian President’s dismissal of negotiations with the US, but he blamed the country’s problems on mismanagement by the government.
“More than the sanctions, economic mismanagement [by the government] is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians,” he said. “I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management.”
Since April, Iran’s rial has lost half of its value, hitting record lows. Since December, the country has seen widespread, sporadic protests, encompassing over 80 cities.
Demonstrators have protested Iran’s weak economy, government corruption, as well as Iran’s involvement in wars in the region as people call for that money to be used for domestic purposes.
Tehran has spent a lot of money backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the seven-year civil war, the Houthis in Yemen, extremist Palestinian groups, and some militias in Iraq.
“With better management and more efficient planning we can resist the sanctions and overcome them,” Khamenei added, in an attempt to cool public dissent against the current government.
Ahead of the re-imposed sanctions, the US and Iran have been involved in a war of words. On July 22, Trump directed a tweet at Rouhani, warning that those who “threaten the United States…will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”
The tweet was followed by remarks by a controversial Iranian military figure, Qassim Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who said Iran’s militias are “ready” to engage with the US.
Recently, U.S. officials have been talking blatantly about us. Beside sanctions, they are talking about war and negotiations. In this regard, let me say a few words to the people: THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE U.S..— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) August 13, 2018
In a series of tweets on Monday, Khamenei rejected any possibility of war between the US and Iran.
“Recently, US officials have been talking blatantly about us. Beside sanctions, they are talking about war and negotiations. In this regard, let me say a few words to the people: THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE US.”