Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei dismissed on Monday talks with the US after President Trump called for direct negotiations with Tehran, saying Washington is only after concessions.
"In the matter of negotiations, they play a poor game. One of them says, negotiations with preconditions, another one says, negotiations without preconditions. Let me address the people on the matter in a few words: There will be no war, nor will we negotiate with the US. This is the gist of the word that all the Iranian people should know," Iranís leader told Speaking in a meeting with a large group of Iranian people in Tehran.
In a clear reference to US President Donald Trumpís withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, the Leader said, "Why should we sit for negotiations with a bullying [and] cheating regime, which negotiates like this?"
Recounting reasons why Iran has decided not to negotiate with the US , Ayatollah Khamenei explained:
- Because the Americans rely on money and power, they consider negotiations as a commercial exchange.
- When the US wants to negotiate with a party, they determine their main goals, and then they wonít retreat even a step away from these goals.
- They demand that the other party to pay a privilege immediately; and if the other party refuses to comply with them, they start to make a fuss, so the other party would surrender.
- The US itself does not pay anything in exchange for what it takes from the other party. The US only makes strong promises in order to enchant the other party with mere promises.
- In the final stage, after receiving all the immediate advantages, Americans breach their own promises.
"This is the method of the American negotiations. Now should we negotiate with such a fraudulent government? The JCPOA was a clear example of this. Though, I was very exigent about it, the red lines werenít actually respected," the supreme leader said.
On May 8, Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran despite the objections of Europe (The UK, Germany, and France) as well as Russia and China - the other parties to the deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
The withdrawal entailed not only the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran but also the so-called secondary sanctions on third countries. Some of those sanctions took effect after a 90-day wind-down period ending on August 6, and the rest after a 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4.
"Unlike what some people may think in the country, Americansí request for negotiations is nothing new and has been repeated many times during the past 40 years, but has been met with Iranís negative answer. Even then American president, Reagan, who was more powerful than the current ones, in the famous case of McFarlane, sent him secretly to Tehran for negotiations, but he returned without any results 24 hours later."
Leader of the Islamic Republic further rejected speculations about possible military confrontation between Tehran and Washington.
Recently, the U.S. officials have been talking blatantly about us. Beside sanctions, they talk about war and negotiations. Of course, they do not openly talk about wars, but they intent to imply that there is a ghost of war that would scare the Iranian nation or scare those who fear.
He assured the audience there would be no war on Iran by saying "No war will happen as like before, we will never be the initiator of a war and the US wonít launch a war either because they know it would end to their detriment: because the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation have proved that any invasion would be responded by bigger blow."
Ayatollah Khamenei then referred to the humiliating debacle of Operation Eagle Claw at Tabas desert in 1980, saying: They may not understand lots of things, but they probably understand what the outcome of invading Iran would feel like.
Mismanagement Hurting Iran Economy More than Sanctions
Ayatollah Khamenei also blamed internal mismanagement for most of the countryís economic problems while admitting that foreign sanctions are hurting the West Asian countryís economy.
"Economic experts and many officials believe the cause of this issue is not foreign, itís internal. Not that sanctions do not have an impact, but the major impact is related to performances," the Leader.
Iranís national currency has lost much of its value since the beginning of the year, especially after US President Donald Trump abandoned a nuclear deal with Tehran and announced new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
"All people feel livelihood problems today. A section of the people is really under the pressure and the high prices of food, housing and other things are pressuring them," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"The devaluation of the national currency is one of the current economic problems. When the price of the rial comes down, it is the daily-paid employee who ends up with nothing left," the Leader added.
Ayatollah Khamenei said, "If the actions [by government officials] are better, more prudent and timely and stronger, the sanctions will not have much effect."
The Leader touched on the turmoil in the foreign exchange and gold coins market, calling it the result of "imprudence and neglect" by certain officials who caused government dollars to end up in the hands of manipulators.
"This problem is related to management and executive policies," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"When they distribute foreign currencies and coins in the wrong way, this distribution has two sides: one who takes it and one who gives it. We are all after the one who takes it, while the main fault rests with the one who gives it. We do not call it treason, but it is a big mistake," the Leader said.
Rialís devaluation has presented the government of President Hassan Rouhani with possibly the most serious quandary.
In April, the government lowered the official value of the rial versus the dollar in order to stamp out the free currency market, unifying official and free-market rates at a single value of 42,000 to the dollar.
However, the strategy badly backfired as it generated an underground network of forex sellers who stoked further depreciation of the national currency.
A sharp rial drop resulted in a jump in inflation rates as consumer prices grew. It also prompted a registration flurry of new companies which had access to government dollars at concessionary prices.
Those new companies started importing high-demand commodities with dollars at a rate of 42,000 rials and selling them at inflated prices for profit.
On Sunday, the Judiciary said Iranian authorities have arrested 67 people in a drive against financial crime.
Special courts are being set up to try suspects quickly after Ayatollah Khamenei agreed with a request by Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani to swiftly deal with financial criminals.
Ayatollah Khamenei said on Monday the judiciary chiefís request is "an important positive step to tackle corruption and those involved in economic corruption."
"I wrote a letter to the leaders of the three branches of powers several years ago and told them that corruption is a seven-headed dragon that must be fully confronted. Let me tell you, anyone involved in corruption will be firmly dealt with without any leniency."
Ayatollah Khamenei, however, reminded that the campaign should be carried out justly without political noise.
"Some are saying extreme things and claim that all are corrupt and use such descriptions as systematic corruption; thatís not the case. True, even minor corruption is too much but extremism is wrong in all fields."