Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday that his country is not going to negotiate with the United States because America is going to use negotiations solely for propaganda.
The Trump administration has said it is willing to negotiate “without preconditions” with Iran, but that the U.S. will maintain its pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.
Mr. Khamenei said President Donald Trump would profit from the talks in a televised speech marking the Eid al-Adha holiday, claiming that Mr. Trump wants to “use negotiations with us for propaganda like negotiations with North Korea.” Mr. Khamenei referred to talks between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Mr. Trump unilaterally removed America from the May 2018 nuclear agreement between Iran and Western powers. Iran subsequently reacted by gradually dropping almost every part of the agreement, although it still allows for U.N. Entry to the nuclear facilities by inspectors.
Mr. Trump argued that the agreement would be renegotiated because it did not resolve Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in regional conflicts. The other nuclear agreement signatories-Germany , France, Britain, China and Russia-failed to keep it intact.
Mr. Khamenei said the U.S. needs Iran to give up its negotiating table on its nuclear programme, military facilities and regional authority.
In November, a dramatic increase in subsidized fuel prices led to four days of protests in towns and cities across Iran, in which Amnesty International said more than 300 people were killed in clashes with police and security forces.
Tehran has yet to issue any official figures on the severity of the protests, although the government admitted in June that the demonstrators were shot and killed by security forces. A lawmaker said the anti-government demonstrations killed 230 people.