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Iran's Khamenei bans direct negotiations with US

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Photo courtesy of @Khamenei.ir), (Kyodo)

TEHRAN (Kyodo) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech Monday that he bans any negotiation with United States, rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump's recent offer of direct talks.

"The Islamic Republic can negotiate with the United States only when it reaches the power and sovereignty that would nullify U.S. pressures and domineering efforts," Khamenei's official website quoted him as telling people gathered at his residence. "Thus, I will ban negotiations with the United States."

Trump said late last month that he is willing to meet Iranian leaders without preconditions to discuss relations strained by his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran.

Khamenei alleged that Washington habitually receives everything in cash during a negotiation and in return gives nothing but promises.

"After getting what they want, the U.S. breaches its promises. This is the way the United States negotiates. Now shall we negotiate with such a dishonest administration?" Khamenei added.

The supreme leader, who has ultimate power in country, also rejected any possibility of war with the United States. "Iranians must know that any war won't take place," he said, addressing recent concerns among the public about war breaking about.

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that he has no precondition for negotiation with United States, except that Washington provide compensation for past damage caused to his country.

While Rouhani reiterated that the nuclear deal was a great victory for Iran, Khamenei said that the landmark accord has weak points and was the "obvious instance for the way that United States negotiates."

On May 8, Trump withdrew the United States from the accord struck under his predecessor Barack Obama and pledged "the highest level of economic sanction" against Iran, calling it "the leading state sponsor of terror."

Under the deal struck between Iran and six major powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- in Vienna in 2015, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Washington reinstated certain economic sanctions against Iran last week to push Tehran toward a tougher nuclear deal.

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