Iran's Khamenei bans holding direct talks with United States

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2018

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned holding any direct talks with the United States, state TV reported, rejecting an offer last month by President Donald Trump for talks with no preconditions with Tehran.

Khamenei accused the government on Monday of economic mismanagement and said it needed to improve its performance to help the country better weather newly reimposed USA sanctions.

The United States reimposed strict sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, with Trump threatening to penalize businesses from third countries that continue to operate in the Islamic Republic. Iran has denounced the sanctions as "U.S. unilateralism".

There have been widespread protests and strikes in recent weeks over high prices, unemployment and structural failures in the economy.

"Recently, American officials have been talking blatantly about Iran. they are talking about war and negotiations".

"With better management and more efficient planning we can resist the sanctions and overcome them", Khamenei said, in an apparent effort to deflect public anger over the deteriorating economy towards Rouhani's government.

Meanwhile, there was a show of resolve as Defence Minister Amir Hatami unveiled a next generation short-range ballistic missile on Monday and vowed to further boost the country s missile capabilities.

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"Not that sanctions don't have an impact, but the main factor is how we handle them".

"The fall of the rial and the increase in gold coin prices are major economic problems..."

The judiciary said on Sunday that it had arrested 67 people under a sweeping corruption crackdown and prevented 100 government employees from leaving the country.

Khamenei reportedly said Monday that the withdrawal from the nuclear pact "is a clear proof that American can not be trusted".

Still, Khamenei doesn't see an Iranian-US war coming down the pike anytime soon.

Unless Iran's clerical rulers comply with the USA demands, more sanctions targeting Iran's oil and shipping industries are set for November.

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