EghtesadOnline: Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday ruled out once again the possibility of talks between Iranian and American officials, saying any negotiations would signal the success of the United States' "maximum pressure" policy and clear the way for the imposition of its will on the Islamic Republic.
"No negotiation at any level will take place between the Islamic Republic and American officials, neither in New York nor elsewhere," Ayatollah Khamenei was quoted as saying by his website, Khamenei.ir.
There have been speculations over the past weeks about a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that Trump is open to such a meeting in New York without preconditions, although Trump later dismissed the statement about his willingness to meet with “no conditions” on Twitter, Financial Tribune reported.
Tehran and Washington have been at odds since Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran as part of his so-called "maximum pressure" campaign to push for renegotiation on a wider range of western concerns, including Tehran’s missile program.
Iran has refused to enter talks until Washington lifts all sanctions and returns to the nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
"If the US … returned to the nuclear agreement that it violated, it could then attend the meetings that [the remaining] parties to the deal take part in and talk to Iran," the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Washington's purpose of talks is not to find a just solution to the current standoff, but to "impose its blatant demands" on Iran.
He described the US offer of negotiations as a "trick" to prove to everyone that maximum pressure has been effective and has forced the Islamic Republic’s officials to come to the negotiating table despite asserting that they would not.
"If the enemy succeeds in proving [to its domestic rivals as well as Europe] that maximum pressure is the only effective way of dealing with Iran, then Iran and our dear nation will never be left in peace," he said, explaining that it will become a default policy and from that point on, Iran would either have to accept their demands or face maximum pressure anew.
European countries, led by France, have also been trying to broker dialogue between the two arch-foes, an effort that Ayatollah Khamenei said is in line with the US policy to indicate the success of its policy toward Iran.
"We, in return, must prove that the maximum pressure policy has absolutely no value in the eyes of the Iranian nation," he said, highlighting the fact that all Iranian officials, including the president and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have unanimously announced that there will be to talks with the US, neither bilateral nor multilateral.