Khamenei rules out talks with US

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Tehran, July 21 (IANS) Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday ruled out talks with the US, terming it “useless” as Washington is “fundamentally at odds with the principles of the Islamic system”.

“I have long pointed out that it is not possible to count on the words and even the signatures of the Americans, so negotiations with the US are of no avail,” Khamenei said in a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Ministry staff in the capital.

Washington’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear capabilities and role in the region was rooted in its hostility with “the elements of the authority of the Islamic system”, he was cited as saying by official IRNA news agency.

“The US seeks to restore its status in Iran as they enjoyed before the Islamic Revolution (in 1979), and they will not accept less than this… They have basic and fundamental problem with the (Islamic) establishment.”

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Khamenei said it was a “blatant mistake” to believe that negotiating with the US would help Iran solve its problems. “There are many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that have ties with the US but are still suffering from problems.”

On the other hand, negotiations with the Europeans should continue to guarantee Iran’s interests under the 2015 nuclear deal which the bloc wants to preserve despite Washington’s withdrawal in May, the leader said. However, he added that Iran should not count much on their package of proposals.

“Negotiations with the Europeans should not be cut off, but we should not wait too long for a European package and instead, we should do a lot of work inside the country.”

Earlier this month, Iran said it had rejected the EU’s so-called package of proposals for the future of the nuclear deal. Details of the proposals were never made public.

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However, Tehran said it had returned the package for revisions, saying the bloc’s proposals did not guarantee that the Islamic Republic would benefit from the nuclear deal if it stayed in the agreement.

Khemenei also echoed his support for Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani who had warned that no oil cargo would be exported in the region if Tehran’s oil exports were to be halted.

Before Khamenei’s remarks, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his ministry had devised a comprehensive plan to help expand the country’s economic bonds with neighbours as well as others.



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