Originally appeared at DWN, translated by John T. Sumner exclusively for SouthFront
Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has rejected negotiations with the US on the settlement of regional conflicts. He advocates the “instillation of fear in the enemy” in order to safeguard against threats.
“The Americans insist on negotiating regional issues with us, in particular Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen,” Khamenei said on Sunday before officers of the Revolutionary Guards. The sole aim of such talks would only be “to obstruct the presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region.”
Threats by foreign powers could only be countered with military strength, Khamenei said in the speech, which was published on his website. Among the audience were the top commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Major General Mohammed Ali Jafari, and the commander of its special unit for foreign combat missions, Kassem Soleimani. Only by “instillation of fear in the enemy” threats could be eliminated, Khamenei said.
For the first time in years, the Iranian government had held direct talks with the US government in the wake of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program, although both countries still do not maintain diplomatic relations. Khamenei has repeatedly stressed that the agreement on the nuclear issue does not imply a rapprochement towards the US. In the Syrian conflict, the two countries support different sides, however, in Iraq both are backing the government in Baghdad.