Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks to the crowd during a ceremony on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the death Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on June 04, 2018. (IRIB)

September 17, 2019

Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday reportedly ruled out any talks with the U.S. amid increased tensions between the two nations in the wake of crippling attacks at oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

“There will be no talks with the U.S. at any level … all officials in the Islamic Republic unanimously believe this,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, according to The Associated Press.

He added that Iran must prove that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure policy” is not “worth a penny for the Iranian nation.”

“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.”

The leader’s comments come after speculation that President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would meet in New York later this month at the United Nations General Assembly.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday dismissed those reports, saying “neither is such an event on our agenda, nor it will happen. Such a meeting will not take place.”

The announcement also comes days after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said the Trump administration will “keep many options on the table,” leaving open the possibility that the president was open to talks with Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last weekend blamed Iran for recent attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, a claim that Tehran has denied.

Trump then said on Monday that he wants to avoid war with Iran. One day earlier, he warned  that the United States was “locked and loaded” in response to attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

Iran has turned down numerous attempts to hold a meeting with the U.S. as it is deals with sanctions that Trump reimposed last year after withdrawing from the Obama-era nuclear deal.

AP

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.