Iran's Khamenei Renews Ban on Talks With U.S.

'Those who believe that negotiations with the enemy will solve our problems are 100% wrong,' Khamenei said on state TV

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a graduation ceremony at Iran's Air Defense Academy, Tehran, Iran, October 30, 2019.
enei.ir,AP

Iran will not yield to pressure imposed by its longtime foe the United States, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday, adding that holding talks with Washington will not solve Tehran's problems.

"One way to block America's influence is to ban any talks with America. It means Iran will not yield to America's pressure. Those who believe that negotiations with the enemy will solve our problems are 100% wrong," Khamenei, who is Iran's top authority, was quoted by state TV as saying.

The U.S. should return to a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday, saying the new U.S. sanctions imposed on Tehran showed failure of Washington's policy.

"Rather than dig itself deeper, US should abandon failed policies & return to #JCPOA (the 2015 nuclear deal)," Zarif tweeted.

The U.S.-Iranian confrontation has intensified since last year, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s agreement with world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy to force Tehran to renegotiate the pact.

Washington on Thursday imposed sanctions on the Iranian construction sector and trade in four materials used in its military or nuclear programs.

"Subjecting construction workers to #EconomicTerrorism only manifests maximum failure of "maximum pressure”. US can sanction every man, woman & child but Iranians will never submit to bullying" Zarif tweeted.

Iran refuses to hold any talks with its longtime foe the United States unless Washington lifts sanctions on Tehran.

In retaliation for Washington’s "maximum pressure" policy, Iran has gradually scaled back its nuclear commitments since May and has said it will take further steps if European parties to the deal fail to shield its economy from U.S. penalties.