Iran’s Supreme Leader on Monday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer of unconditional talks to improve bilateral ties and he also accused the Iranian government of economic mismanagement in the face of reimposed U.S. sanctions.
Washington reimposed the sanctions last week after pulling out of a 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in return for an easing of economic sanctions. Trump has also threatened to penalize companies that continue to operate in Iran.
“I ban holding any talks with America… America never remains loyal to its promises in talks,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on policy in the Islamic Republic.
“America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof that America cannot be trusted,” state TV quoted Khamenei as telling a gathering attended by thousands of Iranians.
The sanctions target Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of U.S. dollars and its car industry.
Washington had said Iran’s only chance of avoiding the sanctions would be to accept Trump’s offer to negotiate for a tougher nuclear deal. Iranian officials already rejected the offer but it is the first time Khamenei has publicly commented.
But Khamenei ruled out the possibility of war with the United States.
“They (the Americans) are exaggerating the possibility of a war with Iran. There will be no war… We have never started a war and they will not confront Iran militarily,” he said.