Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Iran's Khamenei bans holding direct talks with United States

Iran's Khamenei bans holding direct talks with United States

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has sharply criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs and sanctions policies, saying such measures were destroying jobs and growth and that Europe would not bow to U.S. pressure regarding Iran.

"This trade war is slowing down and destroying economic growth - and it creates new uncertainties", Altmaier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding that consumers suffered the most because higher tariffs were driving up prices. "The Islamic Republic has proven that any invader will be dealt a bigger strike".

Khamenei said Monday with better management Iran can resist the US sanctions and overcome them. Iranian officials already rejected the offer but it is the first time Khamenei has publicly commented. Khamenei referenced the secret 1986 trip to Tehran by President Ronald Reagan's former national security adviser Robert McFarlane in an effort to begin high-level talks; the attempt wound up being rebuffed.

Iran and the other signatories of the nuclear deal have said they intend to continue to abide by the agreement.

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Also on Monday, Iran said it launched a production line for a radar-evading, short-range missile.

"For what reason should one sit at the negotiating table with a bullying and dishonest regime?" the Leader asks.

"Today's livelihood problems do not emerge from outside, they are internal", Khamenei said in another tweet.

"Even if we ever - impossible as it is - negotiated with the USA, it would never ever be with the current United States administration", he added.

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Khamenei added that Iran would enter negotiations only when it has reached a desirable level of "political, economic, and cultural" strength, but that now, "negotiations with the United States will be detrimental and are forbidden".

"Not that sanctions don't have an impact, but the main factor is how we handle them".

The judiciary said Sunday it had arrested 67 people under a sweeping corruption crackdown and prevented 100 government employees from leaving the country.

Many official and semi-official Iranian news agencies reported Khamenei's speech on Monday where he discussed a variety of domestic and foreign affairs, including the nuclear agreement.

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The 2015 agreement placed tight controls on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide sanctions. He said the deal was not working and also has said Iran must stop meddling in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

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