Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rebuffed the prospect of thawing relations between his country and the US, calling the American leadership "liars, untrustworthy, deceitful and backstabbers."
Khamenei made the comments Wednesday on the Iranian calendar date marking the 37th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran, the Tehran Times reported.
Despite the easing of sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program under a nuclear agreement
between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 world powers - the US, UK, China, France and Russia plus Germany - Iran's hardline top leader adamantly rejected the idea of further negotiations with Washington.
Khamenei charged that engaging in dialogue with the United States would be prone to failure and bring further problems to the Islamic Republic. He also lashed out at the administration in Washington, saying it is not trustworthy.
“Negotiation with the Americans would not resolve our problems because firstly they are liars, untrustworthy, deceitful and backstabbers, and secondly, the US is in crisis itself, and how would a crisis-ridden country be able to solve the problems of another country?” he asserted.
In his remarks, Khamenei praised the Islamic revolution-supporting Iranian students who took over 50 American diplomats and citizens hostage for 444 days in the siege of the US embassy that began on November 4, 1979.
He added that the same ideology that fueled the embassy siege remains pertinent today in Iran's opposition to the US. He invoked the practice of shouting anti-American slogans which along with the burning of American flags and effigies are commonly found in Iranian ceremonies.
“Policy and essence of the arrogant US government is on the basis of over-ambitiousness and for years it has applied the policy in different parts of the world, particularly in the Western Asia region and pre-revolution Iran,” the Tehran Times quoted him as saying.
The administration of US President Barack Obama has tried to promote deeper international trade for Iran while still limiting US business engagement due to sanctions that bar US banks from doing business with Iran and prevent transactions with Iran in dollars being processed through the US financial system.
The potential detente with the West has alarmed Iranian hardliners, who have seen a flood of European trade and investment delegations arrive in Tehran to discuss possible deals, according to Iran experts.Reuters contributed to this report.