Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei: ‘I Ban Holding Any Talks with America’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei firmly “banned’ negotiations with the United States on Monday and said he doubted America will “confront Iran militarily.”

“I ban holding any talks with America … America never remains loyal to its promises in talks,” Khamenei said.

“Negotiations with the U.S. would definitely harm us and they are forbidden. Negotiation with the bullying and very eager government of the U.S. means giving it an instrument through which it can add to its hostility,” Khamenei said.

Reuters quoted Khamenei confidently assuming the United States will back down from any military confrontation with Iran, such as the conflict that could erupt if Iran attempts to interfere with shipping in the Persian Gulf:

Recently, American officials have been talking blatantly about Iran … they are talking about war and negotiations … They are exaggerating about the possibility of a war with Iran. There will be no war … We have never started a war and they will not confront Iran militarily

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif added in a Monday interview with Qatar’s al-Jazeera network that Iran “will not change its policies in the region because of U.S. sanctions and threats.”

The head of the secular portion of Iran’s government, President Hassan Rouhani, expressed a willingness to talk directly with U.S. President Donald Trump last week, the day before restored U.S. sanctions on Iran went into effect.

In his televised remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei blamed Iran’s deepening economic crisis on mismanagement by Rouhani’s government.

Iranians who have been protesting the regime squandering money on foreign adventures and weapons purchases may not be pleased with their government’s announcement that even more funds have been diverted to produce a new short-range radar-evading missile, as reported by the Associated Press:

Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami told state TV the surface-to-surface missile, dubbed Fateh-e Mobin, or Bright Conqueror, was effective in all weather conditions.

He did not discuss the range of the missile, but older versions like the Fateh-313 have a range of some 300 miles. Iran is believed to have long-range missiles with a range of 1,250 miles, which are capable of reaching U.S. bases in the region and Israel.

Iran often announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified.

Iran’s state-controlled media has begun resorting to the crudest forms of censorship to muffle protesters—quite literally in the case of a soccer match at the Azadi stadium in Tehran on Saturday, where state television decided to mute the sound when a chant of “Death to the dictator!” erupted from thousands of attendees.

The ayatollah’s attempt to pin blame on Rouhani might not work since Khamenei is the “dictator” the crowds are chanting against, although they blame the secular wing of their government for corruption and inefficiency as well.

“Iran is trying to say Trump is behind all our miseries, but it is only the House of Khamenei that is to blame,” one demonstrator said over the weekend. “People look at some of the majestic houses and villas and the lifestyle of a minority at the top and wonder how on earth they have managed to have this when the majority are so poor.”


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