Khamenei Rules Out Negotiations With Washington Without Nuclear Deal

  • The leader of the Islamic Republic says all officials in the country agree that talks will not take place.
  • There have been speculations in recent weeks about Donald Trump's meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which senior US officials have not ruled out.
  • Khamenei said that in the face of the US program, the Islamic Republic must prove that the policy of maximum pressure is not working.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says that if the US goes back to the nuclear deal, it can negotiate with Iran like other parties. Otherwise, he said, “Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials. This is part of their policy to put pressure on Iran.” Khamenei added, “their policy of maximum pressure will fail.”

Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is a marja’ and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989. He was previously President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. Khamenei is the second-longest serving head of state in the Middle East (after Oman’s Sultan Qaboos), as well as the second-longest serving Iranian leader of the last century, after Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

The leader of the Islamic Republic, who has long described negotiations with Donald Trump’s government as “double poison,” now says all officials in the country agree that such talks will not take place. At the same time, he considered negotiations with the United States, as one of the so-called P5 + 1 countries, that signed a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic on the condition that Washington returns to that agreement.

According to IRNA, Ali Khamenei made the remarks on Tuesday morning, at the beginning of the extra-jurisprudence session, at the beginning of the academic year. Almost simultaneously with the remarks of the leader of the Islamic Republic, the seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly began its work in New York. There have been speculations in recent weeks about Donald Trump’s meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which senior US officials have not ruled out.

The leader of the Islamic Republic has called Washington’s readiness to negotiate directly with Tehran a “trick,” and has described its goal as demonstrating the success of “maximum pressure” policy. The United States re-enacted the lifted or suspended sanctions against the Islamic Republic in May of last year, following the withdrawal of the nuclear deal. The sanctions, which have intensified in recent months, have been said to put maximum pressure on Iran to bring it to the table.

Khamenei said on Tuesday, “their aim is to prove to everyone that the maximum pressure has been met and that the Islamic Republic authorities have been forced to come to the negotiating table so that the only way to confront Iran is by pressure. It’s the maximum.”

Denial of Negotiation, Condition of Negotiation:

Khamenei said that in the face of the US program, the Islamic Republic must prove that the policy of maximum pressure is not working. “If we yield to their pressure and hold talks with Americans,” he said, “this will show that their maximum pressure on Iran has succeeded. They should know that this policy has no value for us.”

The Islamic Consultative Assembly, also called the Iranian Parliament, the Iranian Majles, is the national legislative body of Iran. Over its history the Parliament is said to have evolved from being “a debating chamber for notables,” to “a club for the shah’s placemen” during the Pahlavi era, to a body dominated by members of “the propertied middle class” under the Islamic Republic.

Contrary to these statements, many senior Iranian officials, including Hassan Rouhani, have previously ruled out “multilateral” negotiations with the United States should the country return to a nuclear deal and lift sanctions. Khamenei has also stated this possibility. “If America changes its behavior and returns to the nuclear deal, then it can join multilateral talks between Iran and other parties to the deal.”  Otherwise, he says, there will be no negotiations at any level between the officials of the Islamic Republic and the Americans, neither in New York nor outside.

Khamenei Specifies “Policy Principles”

Rouhani said that he believes every tool should be used for the benefit of Iran. Speaking in defense of proposed ministers of education and heritage in parliament, Rouhani dismissed his remarks about negotiating as a two-way dialogue as inaccurate. “We have not and will not have time” to negotiate with the United States. In another part of his speech to the Majlis, the President pointed to the same issue which Khamenei repeated on Tuesday. “The US would talk to us at P5 + 1 and lift all sanctions.”

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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