Iran rules out direct talks with United States

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says his country will never hold one-on-one talks with the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump had said he could meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, possibly at the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month.

Khamenei however says Iran could engage in multilateral discussions if the US returns to the 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials … this is part of their policy to put pressure on Iran … their policy of maximum pressure will fail,” state television quoted Khamenei as saying.

“If America changes its behavior and returns to (Iran’s 2015) nuclear deal, then it can join multilateral talks between Iran and other parties to the deal,” Khamenei said.

Trump has stepped up sanctions against Iran since last year when he withdrew from the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions that were lifted under the deal in return for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

In retaliation, Iran has gradually scaled backed its commitments to the pact and plans to further breach it if the European parties fail to keep their promises to shield Iran’s economy from U.S. penalties.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington spiked further over the weekend after the U.S accused Iran of orchestrating the drone attacks on two massive Saudi oil plants, allegations the later has dismissed.

 




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