Ayatollah: I’m Banning All Negotiations With the US – Until Iran Grows More Powerful

By Patrick Goodenough | August 13, 2018 | 9:23 PM EDT

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses Iranians from across the country, in Tehran on Monday, August 13, 2018. (Photo: Office of the Supreme Leader)

(CNSNews.com) – Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday rejected President Trump’s recent offer of dialogue, saying moreover he was also banning outright all negotiations with the U.S., until such time as Iran is powerful enough to be impervious to U.S. pressure.

Entering into talks with a “deceitful and bullying regime” like the Trump administration would only hand it a tool to use against Iran, Khamenei said during an address to Iranians gathered from across the country, according to reports in state media and on his official website.

Khamenei said U.S. officials have recently been talking about both negotiations and war.

In an all-upper-case tweet last month, Trump warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani never again to threaten the U.S., or risk “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.’’

A week later, Trump said he was willing to meet with Rouhani, “with no preconditions,” whenever the Iranians wanted to do so.

Khamenei said in his address that there would be neither negotiations nor war between Iran and the U.S.

There would be no war, because Iran would never initiate one, and because the U.S. would also not launch a war since it knows it would do so to its detriment, as Iran “has proved that any transgressor will be stricken a bigger blow,” he said.

And there would be no negotiations, because he is outlawing them – as did his late predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, during the hostage crisis after the 1979 revolution.

The Islamic Republic can negotiate with the U.S. only when it reaches the level of power and sovereignty necessary to nullify U.S. pressures – so that they “have no effect on Iran,” Khamenei said.

“Today this is not the case,” he said. “Thus, I will ban negotiations with the U.S. just as [Khomeini] did.”

Khamenei also accused the U.S. of becoming “ruder” in its rhetoric towards Iran and other nations in recent months – possibly an allusion to Trump’s tweeting style.

In what may have been a dig at that style, a posted except from the speech, on an official Khamenei Twitter account, also used capital letters as Trump’s frequently do: “THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE US.”

Elaborating in the speech on his unwillingness to negotiate with the Trump administration, he accused it of:

--Treating negotiations as a business transaction;

--Setting its own goals, and then refusing to compromise on them;

--Demanding that the other party provide immediate benefits, while refusing to provide benefits itself, instead trying to “enchant” the other party with promises; and

--Ultimately, having reaped the benefits of the deal, breaching its own commitments.

Khamenei said Trump’s repudiation of the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was a clear example of those negotiating tactics.

(In fact, one major criticism of the JCPOA was that the Obama administration offered Iran up-front benefits, including billions of dollars in sanctions relief, as well as $1.7 billion in cash which the administration said was in settlement of a long-standing legal dispute, plus interest.)

In his speech, Khamenei also took a swipe at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling him “a stupid man” and mocking him for accusing the Iranian regime of spending money in support of the Assad regime in Syria, even as Trump complains about trillions of dollars spent by the U.S. on wars in the Mideast.


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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow