Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei renews ban on talks with U.S. - report

"America has always borne hostility towards Iran."

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009 (photo credit: REUTERS/CAREN FIROUZ)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009
(photo credit: REUTERS/CAREN FIROUZ)
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sought to prevent negotiations with the administration of US President Donald Trump, arguing the Americans will not make any concessions.
“Negotiating with the US is futile,” he said Sunday. “Those who believe that negotiations with the enemy will solve our problems are 100% wrong.”
His logic is that the US won’t make concessions. He also said the US wants to bring Iran to the table by forcing it to its knees.
“Nothing will reduce sanctions and pressure,” he said.
In addition he pointed out that Iran now has precision-guided missiles that can travel 2,000 km. and can hit a target within a meter of accuracy. So, why would Iran need to negotiate away its rights to these missiles, he argued.
Relations between the two foes have reached a crisis over the past year after Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and world powers under which Tehran accepted curbs to its nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions.
“They are currently saying ‘don’t be active in the region, do not help the resistance [i.e., Hezbollah], don’t be in some countries [i.e., Syria], and stop your missile defense and production,’” the ayatollah noted. He said if Iran bends to these demands then the US will demand Iran become a secular country and let women walk around showing their hair. “American demands will never stop.”
Washington has reimposed sanctions aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports, saying it seeks to force Iran to negotiate to reach a wider deal. Khamenei has banned Iranian officials from holding such talks unless the US returns to the nuclear deal and lifts all sanctions.
It is a slippery slope for Iran’s regime: If it gives up its missiles it might have to give up laws trying to control how women dress. It won’t allow the US to trim its air defense or trim its use of the veil. For the supreme leader all are entwined. Khamenei’s comments matter because the Trump administration was rumored to want a meeting with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. Now that won’t be in the cards.
Iran has said it will wait for the next US president. It will not accept any conditions and the US would have to return to the Iran deal and end sanctions to start any discussion. Iran’s view is that the US has failed in discussions with Cuba and North Korea, so an erratic US administration is not worth dealing with at all.
The anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution was marked in Iran with demonstrations of crowds chanting “Death to America” across the country.
The embassy capture cemented the hostility between the two countries, which has remained a central fact in Middle East geopolitics and an important part of Iran’s national ideology. Iran, which accused the US of supporting brutal policies of its ousted shah, held 52 Americans for 444 days at the embassy, which it called the “Den of Spies.”
“The US has not changed since decades ago... it continues the same aggressive, vicious behavior and the same international dictatorship,” Khamenei said.
“America has always borne hostility toward Iran.”