Ending all speculation about the possibility of a meeting between President Trump and the Iranian leadership, something President Trump has repeatedly said he’d be open to, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced on Tuesday that “there will be no talks with the US at any level” unless Washington agreed to return to the Iran deal, according to the Associated Press.
Iranian state TV quoted Khamenei, who said this is the position of the country’s leadership and that “all officials in the Islamic Republic unanimously believe” this.
Khamenei accused the US of trying to prove that its “maximum pressure policy” against Iran is successful by finally getting the Iranians to agree to talks, something they have been reluctant to do since Trump took office.
“In return, we have to prove that the policy is not worth a penny for the Iranian nation,” Khamenei said. “That’s why all Iranian officials, from the president and the foreign minister to all others have announced that we do not negotiate (with the U.S.) either bilaterally or multilaterally.”
However, the leader reiterated Iran’s stance that if the US returns to the nuclear deal, then Tehran would consider negotiations.
“Otherwise, no talks will happen…with the Americans,” he said.”Neither in New York nor anywhere” else.
As tensions with the Iranians flared once again following this weekend’s devastating attack on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities, rumors about a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, during the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting later this month in New York have been circulating. Particularly after the ouster of John Bolton, an Iran hawk who was hated by Tehran, some analysts thought face-to-face talks might finally be possible.
Trump said Monday that it “looks” like Iran was behind the explosive attack on the Saudi oil-processing facilities, though he added that the US wasn’t at the point of military retaliation. Tehran has denied any responsibility for the attacks. The Saudi government has called the attack an “unprecedented act of aggression and sabotage” – but has stopped short of blaming the Iranians.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, appear to have used multiple cruise missiles and several drones to lay waste to KSA’s Abqaiq oil processing plant and a key oil field. Then again, experts say whoever planned the attack appears to have had knowledge about which facilities to hit.