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Iran's supreme leader says no war or talks with U.S.

14 August 2018
Iran's supreme leader says no war or talks with U.S.

Khamenei reportedly said Monday that the withdrawal from the nuclear pact "is a clear proof that American can not be trusted".

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States.

This is the first time Iran's supreme leader has commented. "I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management", Iranian state TV quoted Khamenei as saying, in his first reaction to the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

The rial has lost about half of its value since April in anticipation of the renewed U.S. sanctions, driven mainly by heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.

In a press conference at the White House on July 30, Donald Trump said he would meet with Iran "anytime they want to" and without "preconditions".

"America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof America can not be trusted", Mr Khamenei told a gathering of thousands of Iranians.

Despite renewed sanctions, many Iranians - including many at the highest levels of the establishment - see U.S. hostility as only a contributing factor to long-standing problems inside the country. "I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management", Khamenei said.

The US reinstated certain economic sanctions against Iran last week, with President Trump promising more to come in November.

They fear the Trump's Iran policies could undermine the pragmatist president, Hassan Rouhani, and strengthen hardline clerics.

Iran's rial currency has lost about half of its value since April in anticipation of the renewed USA sanctions, driven mainly by heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.

"It is not that the sanctions do not play a role; but a major part of the situation is the result of [government's own] actions", Khamenei said, according to Irna, as he was addressing thousands of Iranians in Tehran on Monday. Thousands have protested against the government in recent weeks against sharp rises in the prices of some food items, a lack of jobs and state corruption. Aside from the economic concerns, footage of protests indicates a more fundamental dissatisfaction with the regime, with chants of slogans such as "death to the dictator" and demands for an end to Iran's costly regional interventions in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen while Iranians suffer economic pain.

Defying U.S. demands to curb its missile programme, Iran unveiled a new generation of its "Fateh Mobin" short-range ballistic missile on Monday, state TV reported.