Khamenei Rejects Trump Talks Offer, Chides Govt Over Economy

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier

In a speech Monday that addressed Iran's troubled economy and the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he would "prohibit" talks with the United States, The New York Times reported.

Trump's determination to push ahead with sanctions on Tehran which also target European companies doing business with Iran has opened another battle front.

"What expectations could you have from a person who pulls out from global engagement and now says let's hold talks", Ravanchi noted.

But Khamenei ruled out the possibility of war with the United States.

For the first time since he became Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, described by Arab media as the supreme leader of the regime, recognized what he considered as his mistake in allowing Iran to join the nuclear negotiations a few years ago, which led to the nuclear deal and the eradication of worldwide sanctions.

Elaborating on Trump's offer of direct talks with Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "Of course, they act upon a threadbare and worthless political game in this regard; one of them says [they want negotiations with Iran] without any preconditions, the other one sets preconditions". There will be no war.

Several European companies have suspended plans to invest in Iran in light of the US sanctions, including oil major Total as well as carmakers PSA, Renault and Daimler.

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Official IRNA news agency has quoted Zarif saying Aljazeera,"Iran will never change its policies in the region under U.S. sanctions and pressure".

"We will respond with great force if war is waged against us but we will never start a war".

"More than the sanctions, economic mismanagement is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians. I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management", state TV quoted Khamenei as saying.

Britain negotiated the original Iran deal in 2015 with France, Germany, China, Russia and the U.S. in a process coordinated by the European Union.

Iranian officials have blamed "enemies" for the fall of the currency and a rapid rise in the price of gold coins, and more than 60 people, including several officials, have been arrested on charges that carry the death penalty.

On the economic issue, Khamenei said, "People are experiencing livelihood problems today; a certain group of people is truly under pressure".

Thousands of Iranians have protested in recent weeks against sharp rises in the prices of some food items, a lack of jobs and state corruption.

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