Iran's Khamenei: There Will Be No Talks With 'Duplicitous' US

Jeannie Matthews
August 14, 2018

"If by some force of circumstance there was a possibility for the Iranian government to speak directly with the American regime, we would never negotiate with the current USA government", Khamenei said.

Still, Khamenei doesn't see an Iranian-US war coming down the pike anytime soon.

There has been widespread speculation over whether Iran would be forced back to the negotiating table following Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions.

Those sanctions target Iran's automotive sector, its trade in gold and other precious metals, along with its currency, the Iranian rial, and other financial transactions.

Trump reimposed the sanctions after pulling the United States out of an global accord that aims to curb Iran's nuclear programme. "There will be no war", he said, per Reuters, adding a veiled threat on Twitter: "This is because Islamic Republic and Iranian nation have proved that any transgressor will be stricken a bigger blow".

Iranian officials - including the country's President, Hassan Rouhani - previously rejected the new offer from the US. "We have never started a war and they will not confront Iran militarily", he siad.

A significant cut in oil sales is also expected when the US reimposes a second phase of sanctions in November - with some analysts estimating a drop of 700,000 barrels per day from its current level of 2.3 million.

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The Supreme Leader criticised Mr Rouhani's government after a sharp fall in the Rial currency prompted angry protests from citizens.

"More than the sanctions, economic mismanagement [by the government] is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians... I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management", state TV quoted Khamenei as saying.

Many European countries such as the United Kingdom, which still back the 2015 deal, fear Trump's moves will undermine Rouhani and strengthen the hand of his hardline rivals in the clerical establishment.

The rial has lost about half of its value since April in anticipation of the renewed United States sanctions, driven mainly by heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.

State media said that 67 officials had been sacked and arrested on suspicion of crimes ranging from corruption to economic sabotage.

Protests in cities and towns across Iran have often begun with slogans against the high cost of living, high prices and a lack of jobs, but have then quickly turned into anti-government rallies.

Defying U.S. demands to curb its missile programme, Iran unveiled a new generation of its "Fateh Mobin" short-range ballistic missile on Monday, state TV reported.

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