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'No talks on any level': Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rules out negotiations with United States

  • Iran will never hold one-on-one talks with the United States but could engage in multilateral discussions if it returns to the 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear programme, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday

  • US president Donald Trump has said he could meet Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, possibly at the UN General Assembly in New York later this month

  • Trump has stepped up sanctions against Iran since last year when he withdrew from the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions that were lifted under the deal in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme

Dubai: Iran will never hold one-on-one talks with the United States but could engage in multilateral discussions if it returns to the 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear programme, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday, according to state television.

 No talks on any level: Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rules out negotiations with United States

File image of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Reuters

US president Donald Trump has said he could meet Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, possibly at the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. “Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials ... this is part of their policy to put pressure on Iran ... their policy of maximum pressure will fail,” state television quoted Khamenei as saying.

Khamenei said Iran’s clerical rulers were in agreement on this: “All officials in Iran unanimously believe it. “If America changes its behaviour and returns to (Iran’s 2015) nuclear deal, then it can join multilateral talks between Iran and other parties to the deal,” Khamenei said

Trump has stepped up sanctions against Iran since last year when he withdrew from the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions that were lifted under the deal in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.

In retaliation for the US “maximum pressure” policy, Iran has gradually scaled backed its commitments to the pact and plans to further breach it if the European parties fail to keep their promises to shield Iran’s economy from US penalties.

“If we yield to their pressure and hold talks with Americans ... This will show that their maximum pressure on Iran has succeeded. They should know that this policy has no value for us,” said Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have spiked following a weekend attack on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that the United States said Iran was responsible for. Iran denies the charge.

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Updated Date: Sep 17, 2019 17:55:59 IST